Holly Holm

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: UFC women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm poses backstage for a post-fight portrait after the UFC 193 event at Etihad Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. Holly Holm defeated Ronda Rousey by KO in second round. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC books two fights including Thiago Santos and the return of Holly Holm

The UFC matchmakers are quite busy preparing for a busy 2019. And today, UFC Prague now has its main event, while UFC 235 continues to get even better.

The first fight will go down at UFC 235 where bantamweight title contender Holly Holm will make her long-awaited return against streaking prospect Aspen Ladd. Holm last competed at UFC 225 in which she fought at featherweight and defeated Megan Anderson by decision. The fight before that was also at featherweight in which Holm lost to Cris Cyborg for the title by decision. Holm has not fought at bantamweight since June of 2017 before she fights Ladd on March 2nd in Las Vegas.

Ladd, meanwhile, is 7-0 as a professional and will have her toughest fight to date when she takes on Holm. Ladd last fought at UFC 229 where she knocked out Tonya Evinger in the first round. Previously, Ladd has wins over the likes of Lina Landsberg, Sijara Eubanks, and Amanda Bobby Cooper.

It is reported that the fight is not signed yet, but it is verbally agreed upon to add to a stacked UFC 235 card. The card already features Ben Askren’s UFC debut where he takes on Robbie Lawler and Zabit Magomedovsharipov vs. Jeremy Stephens among others.

Meanwhile, the UFC also announced the main event for UFC Prague on February 23. It will be a battle of two top-ten light heavyweights in which seventh-ranked Thiago Santos will take on fourth-ranked Jan Blachowicz.

Santos last fought at UFC 231 in Toronto on December 8, where he took on perennial contender in Jimi Manuwa. Santos ended up winning the fight by knockout in the second round, in which both fighters were rocked. Previously, Santos defeated Eryk Anders by TKO in September in his light heavyweight debut. Santos used to compete at middleweight and since moving up to 205, he has been a force to be reckoned with. The Brazilian has knockout power and will look to continue his rise up the rankings when he takes Blachowicz.

Santos’ opponent in Blachowicz last fought at UFC Fight Night 136 in Moscow, Russia. Blachowicz defeated Nikita Krylov by submission in the second round. Blachowicz is currently riding a four-fight winning streak with wins over Krylov, Jimi Manuwa, Jared Cannonier, and Devin Clark after dropping two in a row to Alexander Gustafsson and Patrick Cummins.

Both fights could very well decide the next title challenger at their respective divisions.

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Cole Shelton
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime