Luke Sanders was delighted to get the biggest win of his career last time out, by beating former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barão . Now he has one more reason to be happy, a booking opposite Chris Gutiérrez at the UFC APEX event scheduled for August 1st (per MMA Fighting).
Sanders KO win over Barão happened at UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez all the way back in February, 2019. That result took Saunder’s record to 13-3. Those three losses have all come in UFC competition in the past three years, with submission losses to Rani Yahya and Iuri Alcantara and a TKO loss to Andre Soukhamthath. The other UFC wins on Sanders’ record came against Patrick Williams and Maximo Blanco.
Before joining the UFC in 2016 Sanders held the RFA bantamweight title.
His Fight Island opponent has a record of 15-4-1. Gutiérrez’s last victory was at the UFC APEX on May 30th. There he beat Vince Morales via leg kick TKO. Before that win he took decision victories over Geraldo de Freitas Jr. and Ryan MacDonald. He lost his promotional debut to Raoni Barcelos at the TUF Heavy Hitters finale in 2018.
In addition to Saunders vs. Gutiérrez, the UFC has added a second bantamweight bout to its August 1st card. That match-up pits veteran Frankie Saenz (13-6) versus Jonathan Martinez (11-3) (per MMA Fighting).
This will be Saenz’s 10th fight in the UFC. Last time out—at UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Pettis in 2019—he lost by TKO to Marlon Vera. Before that he had pulled off back-to-back wins over Henry Briones and Merab Dvalishbili.
Martinez has four UFC fights in the books, going 2-2 in those contests. He lost his promotional debut to Andre Soukhamthath in 2018. He then beat Wuliji Buren and Liu Pingyuan before losing his most recent bout to Andre Ewell at UFC 247 this February.
The August 1st show is currently scheduled to feature former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm vs. Irena Aldana as the headliner. The event also boasts a middleweight bout between Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazayan.