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Fights on Tap: Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili among 23 UFC bouts announced

Check out all the fights announced over the past week in the UFC, Bellator and other notable MMA promotions.

Carla Esparza after UFC 274.
Carla Esparza after UFC 274.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Fights on Tap is a weekly roundup of all the fights booked in the UFC, Bellator and other promotions.

What a weekend for combat sports. From Leon Edwards’ ‘KO of the Year’ and ‘Comeback of the Year’ fifth-round knockout of Kamaru Usman for the welterweight championship to Mike Perry defeating Michael ‘Venom’ Page in sudden death at BKFC 27, we saw a lot of ‘WOW!’ moments. With those events now over, though, it’s time to look at what we have ahead on the combat sports schedule.

The UFC either announced or finalized 23 fights this week, and a newly crowned champion has her first defense set.

Carla Esparza is returning to the Octagon for her first defense after dethroning ex-strawweight champion Rose Namajunas at UFC 274 this past May. The ‘Cookie Monster’ fights Zhang Weili in the co-main event of UFC 281, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Weili earned an opportunity against Esparza with a second-round spinning backfist KO of Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 275 in June. ‘Magnum’ previously held the strawweight championship before being defeated by Rose Namajunas twice.

UFC Paris — September 3

Benoit Saint-Denis vs. Gabriel Miranda — lightweight
First rep. by Marcel Dorff of Eurosport Nederland

Fares Ziam vs. Michal Figlak — lightweight
First rep. by La Sueur

UFC 279 — September 10

Li Jingliang vs. Tony Ferguson — welterweight

UFC Vegas 60 — September 17

Andre Fili vs. Bill Algeo — featherweight
First rep. by Iridium Sports Agency

UFC Fight Night — October 1

Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus — heavyweight
First rep. by Rozenstruik on Instagram

Joaquim Silva vs. Jesse Ronson — lightweight
First rep. by Mike Heck of MMA Fighting

Mike Davis vs. Uroš Medić — lightweight
First rep. by David Van Auken

UFC Vegas 61 — October 15

Mike Jackson vs. Pete Rodriguez — welterweight
First rep. by Matthew Wells and Nolan King of MMA Junkie

Jared Cannonier vs. Sean Strickland — middleweight
First rep. by Ariel Helwani

Misha Cirkunov vs. Alonzo Menifield — light heavyweight

Raphael Assunção vs. Victor Henry — bantamweight

UFC 280 — October 22

Lina Länsberg vs. Karol Rosa — women’s bantamweight

Hamdy Abdelwahab vs. Parker Porter — heavyweight
First rep. by Nolan King and Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie

UFC Vegas 62 — October 29

Cody Durden vs. Kleydson Rodrigues — flyweight

UFC 281 — November 12

Dominick Reyes vs. Ryan Spann — light heavyweight
First rep. by Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie

Mike Trizano vs. SeungWoo Choi — featherweight
First rep. by Marcel Dorff of Eurosport Nederland

Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili — women’s strawweight
First rep. by Ariel Helwani

Brad Riddell vs. Renato Moicano — lightweight
First rep. by Moicano on Twitter Spaces with MMA Junkie

Silvana Gómez Juárez vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz — women’s strawweight
First rep. by Carlos Contreras Legaspi of ESPN Deportes

Ottman Azaitar vs. Matt Frevola — lightweight
First rep. by Matt Frevola on Twitter

UFC Fight Night — December 3

Marcelo Rojo vs. Francis Marshall — featherweight
First rep. by Carlos Contreras Legaspi of ESPN Deportes

Natan Levy vs. Genaro Valdéz — lightweight
First rep. by Iridium Sports Agency

UFC 282 — December 10

Robbie Lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio — welterweight
First rep. by Brett Okamoto of ESPN

Announced Cage Warriors fights:

Cage Warriors 143 — September 23

Erick Sanchez vs. Jamey Lynch — lightweight

Elijah Harris vs. Trey Williams — light heavyweight

Cage Warriors 144 — October 7

Dominique Wooding vs. Michele Martignoni — bantamweight