Featured Bout: (#8) Song Yadong vs. (#9) Ricky Simon
UFC returns to the APEX with a pivotal clash in the heavyweight division that will see No. 3 ranked Sergei Pavlovich take on No. 4 Curtis Blaydes. The co-main event will see bantamweight contenders No. 8 Song Yadong and No. 10 Ricky Simon square off.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT: PAVLOVICH vs. BLAYDES will take place Saturday, April 22 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The entire card will be available on ESPN+ in English and Spanish, with the main card starting at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT and the prelims beginning at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
The hard-hitting Pavlovich (17-1, fighting out of Moscow, Russia) sets out to deliver a sixth consecutive first-round knockout in his first UFC main event. The Russian-born striker has delivered devastating finishes against formidable foes Tai Tuivasa, Derrick Lewis, and Shamil Abdurakhimov, and now has his sights set on putting away Blaydes and becoming a viable title contender.
Heavyweight veteran Blaydes (17-3 1NC, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.) aims to showcase another dominant performance. Throughout his UFC run, Blaydes has scored numerous memorable victories, including wins over Tom Aspinall, Chris Daukaus, and former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos. Blaydes now intends on extinguishing Pavlovich’s win streak and proving that he deserves a shot at the heavyweight throne.
China’s Song (19-7-1 1NC, fighting out of Heilongjiang, China) looks to regain momentum with a decisive win over a surging contender. An unrelenting force in the bantamweight division, he holds wins over Marlon Moraes, Marlon Vera, and Casey Kenney. Song now plans to defeat another ranked contender in Simon.
Simon (20-3, fighting out of Vancouver, Wash.) looks to start 2023 with a bang by handing out a show-stealing win. A versatile finisher, he has delivered impressive wins over elite competition such as Merab Dvalishvili, Raphael Assunção, and Jack Shore. Simon is now gunning to deliver a highlight-reel performance against Song to inch his way closer to the Top 5 rankings.
Additional bouts on the card include:
- UFC veteranBrad Tavares (19-7, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) looks to deliver a stellar showing against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Bruno Silva (13-5-2, fighting out of Bauru, Sao Paulo, Brazil) at middleweight
- An electrifying welterweight bout sees Jeremiah Wells (11-2, fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn.) lock horns with the always entertaining Matthew Semeslberger (11-4, fighting out of Frederick, Md.)
- Exciting lightweights Bobby Green (29-14-1, fighting out of Fontana, Calif.) and Jared Gordon (19-6, fighting out of Astoria, N.Y.) look to steal the show
- Iasmin Lucindo (13-5, fighting out Fortaleza, Brazil) meets The Ultimate Fighter season 30 finalist Brogan Walker (8-3, fighting out of Hagåtña, Guam) at flyweight
- Dana White’s Contender Series signee Caio Borralho (13-1, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) goes toe-to-toe with Michal Oleksiejczuk (18-5, fighting out of Barki, Poland) in an exciting middleweight matchup
- Rick Glenn (22-6-2, fighting out of Des Moines, Iowa) battles Christos Giagos (19-10, fighting out of Deerfield Beach, Fla.) at lightweight
- At bantamweight, Rani Yahya (28-10-1, fighting out of Brasilia, Brazil) looks to break the three-fight win streak of Montel Jackson (13-2, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.)
- A stylistic thriller pits No. 9 ranked bantamweight Karol Rosa (16-4, fighting out of Niteroi, Brazil) against Sanda black belt Norma Dumont (8-2, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) at featherweight
- A fiery flyweight contest sees undefeated Rafael Estevam (11-0, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) make his UFC debut against fellow Dana White’s Contender Series signee Carlos Candelario (8-3, fighting out of Springfield, Wash.)
- Guaranteed fireworks are set for the heavyweight division as The Ultimate Fighter season 30winner Mohammed Usman (9-2, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) takes on undefeated UFC newcomer Junior Tafa (4-0, fighting out of Queensland, Australia)
- An exciting featherweight tilt will see Dana White’s Contender Series contract winner Francis Marshall (7-0, fighting out of N.J.) put his perfect record on the line against William Gomis (11-2, fighting out of Paris, France)
- Heavy-handed striker Priscila Cachoeira (12-4, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Karine Silva (15-4, fighting out of Curitiba, Parana, Brazil) square off at flyweight
- Bantamweights start the night’s action as The Ultimate Fighter season 30 finalist Brady Hiestand (7-2, fighting out of Spokane Valley, Wash.)meets Batgerel Danaa (12-4, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.)
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