Las Vegas, June 26: UFC is set to return to Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey for the first time in three years with a thrilling welterweight contenders' bout that sees former interim titleholder and No. 2 ranked Colby Covington take on former champion and No. 10 ranked Robbie Lawler.
Among the other highly anticipated bouts will be a top-10 light heavyweight clash featuring former title challenger and No. 7 ranked Volkan Oezdemir against hard-hitting No. 9 Ilir Latifi.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT on ESPN will air live from the Prudential Center exclusively on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 3 PM ET on Saturday, August 3, with the prelims kicking off at 12 PM ET. on ESPN and in Spanish on the ESPN App.
Currently riding a six-fight win streak, Covington's last outing saw him secure an impressive decision victory over Rafael Dos Anjos one year ago.
A NCAA Division I wrestler known for his relentless pressure, Covington has also netted dominant wins against former title challenger Demian Maia, Dong Hyun Kim and Bryan Barberena. He now aims to take out a former champion en route to earning a shot at the 170-pound belt.
Considered one of the most exciting KO artists in MMA history, Lawler first captured the welterweight championship against Johny Hendricks in late 2014. Lawler then went on to have epic title defenses against Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit.
Lawler has also netted wins over Donald Cerrone, Matt Brown and Josh Koscheck during his career. He now hopes to stop Covington's momentum and re-assert himself as one of the division's most dangerous contenders.
A skilled kickboxer with heavy hands, Oezdemir earned his nickname "No Time" with a pair of rapid-fire knockouts that secured him a light heavyweight title shot in 2017.
During his UFC tenure, Oezdemir has netted impressive wins over contenders Ovince Saint Preux, Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa. He now aims to re-assert himself in the championship picture with yet another highlight-reel finish.
A powerful and gritty grappler, Latifi has proven equally dangerous striking as he is on the mat. The Allstars Training Center standout has utilized relentless pressure to pick up spectacular victories against Ovince Saint Preux, Tyson Pedro and Gian Villante.
Latifi now looks to add a former light heavyweight title challenger to his impressive resume to continue his ascent up the 205-pound ladder.
Announced bouts on the card include:
• In a spectacular clash of lightweight veterans, New Jersey native Jim Miller locks horns with Clay Guida.
• Talented finisher Joaquim Silva aims to put on another show-stealing performance against streaking Nasrat Haqparast.
• No. 8 ranked flyweight contender Jordan Espinosa looks to keep his momentum going against No. 12 Matt Schnell.
• No. 8 ranked Lauren Murphy faces No. 12 Mara Romero Borella in a clash of women's flyweight contenders.
• Dana White's Contender Series signee Antonina Shevchenko looks to put on a striking clinic against gritty Lucie Pudilova in a battle of flyweight prospects.
• Trevin Giles takes on Gerald Meerschaert in an exciting middleweight bout.
• Hard-hitting light heavyweights throw down when Darko Stosic faces Kennedy Nzechukwu.
• Ramazan Emeev goes for his eighth consecutive win against submission ace Claudio Silva.
• Scott Holtzman hopes to return to the win column when he squares off with battle-tested Dong Hyun Ma.
Source: Press Release