HIGH STAKES LIGHTWEIGHT SHOWDOWN HEADLINES UFC® DEBUT IN HIDALGO, TEXAS WHEN NO. 8 DUSTIN POIRIER CLASHES WITH NO. 10 MICHAEL JOHNSON
(#9) URIAH HALL vs. (#10) DEREK BRUNSON
(#15) EVAN DUNHAM vs. ABEL TRUJILLO
TICKETS FOR UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: POIRIER vs. JOHNSON AT STATE FARM ARENA ON SALE AUG. 5
Las Vegas –UFC® heads to Hidalgo, Texas for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 17 as surging lightweight contenders No. 8 Dustin Poirier and No. 10 Michael Johnson collide in the five-round main event. Plus, the co-main event will see No. 9 Uriah Hall clash with No. 10 Derek Brunson in a battle of hard-hitting middleweights determined to earn a shot at UFC gold. UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: POIRIER vs. JOHNSON takes place from the State Farm Arena and airs live on FS1.
“I am proud to welcome UFC to Texas for the 11th time since 2007,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said. “Whether putting on a free event for our troops at Fort Hood or hosting their first event in the Rio Grande Valley, UFC is continuing to invest in the Texas economy while providing an exciting experience for their audience.”
Undefeated in UFC since moving back to lightweight, Poirier (20-4, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) is riding a four-fight winning streak that has seen him earn three knockout victories. Poirier has 10 wins by knockout to go along with his six submission victories, and has finished 16 of his 20 pro wins, 12 in the first round. Equally as powerful is Johnson (17-10, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla.) who has seven knockouts and two submissions to his credit.
With six knockouts in their last six UFC wins combined, Hall (13-6, fighting out of Queens, N.Y.) and Brunson (15-3, fighting out of Wilmington, N.C.) pack some of the heaviest strikes in the middleweight division. New York’s Hall is best known for his highlight reel knockout of Adam Cella on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter®, arguably the best in the show’s 10-year history. Since then, he’s gone on to earn four of his five UFC wins by knockout, becoming a must-see every time he enters the Octagon®. Having won six of his last seven, Brunson has stormed on to the scene in the division and is coming off three straight first-round knockout victories.
In addition, No. 15 lightweight contender Evan Dunham (16-6, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) looks for his fourth straight win when he meets heavy-hitting Abel Trujillo (15-6, 1 NC, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla.), who is also riding a three-fight winning streak. A veteran standout eager to make his run at the 155-pound crown, Dunham will have his hands full with the dynamic Trujillo, who is showing the best form of his career thanks to a potent striking attack and an underrated ground game.
· The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America season 1 winner Alejandro Perez (18-6, fighting out of San Jose, Calif.) meets crafty veteran judoka Manny Gamburyan (18-10, 1 NC, fighting out of Hollywood, Calif.) in a bantamweight showdown.
· Featherweight finisher Gabriel Benitez (18-6, fighting out of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) clashes with heavy-handed Sam Sicilia (15-6, fighting out of Spokane, Wash.).
· Submission specialists Roan “Jucao” Carneiro (20-10, fighting out of Atlanta, Ga.) and Kenny Robertson (15-3, fighting out of Washington, Ill.) collide at 185 pounds.
· Scrappy NAIA All-American wrestler Chas Skelly (15-2, fighting out of Arlington, Texas) meets savvy striker Maximo Blanco (12-7-1, 1 NC, fighting out of Tokyo, Japan) in a featherweight duel.
· Two highly regarded prospects meet in the lightweight division as Islam Makhachev (12-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) squares off with Chris Wade (11-2, fighting out of Islip, N.Y.).
· Former professional soccer player Jose Quinonez (5-2, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) and power puncher Joey Gomez (6-1, fighting out of Brookline, N.H.) face off in the bantamweight division.
· Exciting welterweight striker Belal Muhammad (9-1, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.) welcomes dynamic Mexican finisher Augusto “Dodger” Montano (15-2, fighting out of Mexico City, Mexico) back to the Octagon.