Fights on Tap is a weekly roundup of all the fights booked in the UFC, Bellator and other promotions.
The UFC returned to London for the first time in three years and delivered an ‘Event of the Year’ candidate on Saturday night. With the event now over, we can preview what comes next on the schedule. The promotion either announced or finalized six fights this week, and a long-awaited rematch at strawweight has been confirmed.
Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza first met for the inaugural strawweight championship at The Ultimate Fighter 20 finale, where ‘Thug’ was submitted by ‘The Cookie Monster’ via third-round rear-naked choke. Seven years later, they fight again with gold on the line. The rematch will serve as the co-main event of UFC 274 scheduled to take place on May 7 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Namajunas began her second reign as strawweight champion with a first-round knockout of Zhang Weili at UFC 261 this past April. An immediate rematch with Weili was created, and Namajunas retained by way of unanimous decision at UFC 268. Meanwhile, Esparza earned her championship opportunity with five consecutive wins, including a ‘Performance of the Night’ awarded second-round TKO of Yan Xiaonan in her most recent appearance.
UFC 273 — April 9
Dricus Du Plessis vs. Anthony Hernandez — middleweight
UFC Fight Night — April 16
Pat Sabatini vs. T.J. Laramie — featherweight
UFC 274 — May 7
Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza — women’s strawweight
UFC Fight Night — May 21
Chidi Njokuani vs. Duško Todorović — middleweight
UFC 275 — June 11
Brendan Allen vs. Jacob Malkoun — middleweight
UFC 276 — July 2
Miesha Tate vs. Lauren Murphy — women’s flyweight*
Announced Bellator fights:
Bellator 278 — April 22
Josh Hill vs. Enrique Barzola — bantamweight
Cee Jay Hamilton vs. Jared Scoggins — bantamweight
Bellator 279 — April 23
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Yancy Medeiros — lightweight
Kai Kamaka III vs. Justin Gonzalez — featherweight
Bellator Paris — May 6
Pedro Carvalho vs. Piotr Niedzielski — featherweight