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Nassourdine Imavov of Russia celebrates his victory over Joaquin Buckley in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at The Accor Arena on September 03, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
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Fight By Fight Preview | UFC Louisville

Outlining All The Action Set To Hit The Octagon At UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Imavov This Weekend

The last time the UFC touched down in Louisville, Kentucky, Lady Gaga topped the Billboard Hot 100 with “Born This Way,” Rango topped the box office, and Chris Weidman was making his short-notice promotional debut.

More than a decade later, the Octagon returns to the KFC Yum! Center for an event capped by a pivotal battle in the middleweight division, and we’re here to break it all down for you.

Main Event: Jared Cannonier vs Nassourdine Imavov

Location: KFC Yum! Center — Louisville, Kentucky

Where to Watch: ESPN / ESPN+

Other Main Card Matches:

  • Dominick Reyes vs Dustin Jacoby
  • Raul Rosas Jr. vs Ricky Turcios
  • Brunno Ferreira vs Dustin Stoltzfus
  • Julian Marquez vs Zach Reese
  • Miguel Baeza vs Punahele Soriano

Prelim Matches:

  • Thiago Moises vs Ludovit Klein
  • Charles Radtke vs Carlos Prates
  • Brad Katona vs Jesse Butler
  • Andrea Lee vs Montana De La Rosa
  • John Castaneda vs Daniel Marcos
  • Eduarda Moura vs Denise Gomes
  • Cody Stamann vs Taylor Lapilus
  • Rayanne dos Santos vs Puja Tomar

Main Event: Jared Cannonier vs Nassourdine Imavov

Full Fight | Jared Cannonier vs Marvin Vettori
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Full Fight | Jared Cannonier vs Marvin Vettori
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The night’s action closes out in the middleweight division, as former title challenger and perennial contender Jared Cannonier faces off with French hopeful Nassourdine Imavov.

Returning for the first time since last June after suffering a knee injury, Cannonier looks to build on his tidy two-fight winning streak and overall 7-2 mark in the 185-pound weight class this weekend. The 40-year-old power hitter owns a win over former champ Sean Strickland and has only lost to top dogs Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya since continuing his venture down in weight, and stands as the most experienced and dangerous foe Imavov has faced to date.

After a frustrating 2023 where he lost a short notice pairing to Strickland and his fight with Chris Curtis was halted due to an accidental clash of heads, Imavov got things moving in the right direction again in February, posting a majority decision win over Roman Dolidze. It was a frantic, emotional performance from the 29-year-old Paris-based fighter, who was docked a point for an illegal soccer kick and seemed more focused on jawing with Curtis, who was cornering Dolidze, at times, but in the end, Imavov came away with the win and earned this step up in competition on Saturday.

Middleweight is in a state of flux right now, which makes this an ideal opportunity for either of these men to turn in a statement effort and cement their standing within the division. There are some other big fights in the division on tap this month, so a convincing win before things really get rolling would go a long way for both Cannonier and Imavov.

Other Main Card Contests

Dominick Reyes vs Dustin Jacoby

Dominick Reyes celebrates after his TKO victory over Chris Weidman in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at TD Garden on October 18, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Dominick Reyes celebrates after his TKO victory over Chris Weidman in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at TD Garden on October 18, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Light heavyweights angling to start building some positive momentum again clash in the co-main event as Dominick Reyes takes on Dustin Jacoby.

Reyes began his career with 12 straight victories, the final six of which came inside the Octagon, leading to a championship showdown with Jon Jones. Many believe Reyes did enough to merit the victory, but the judges felt otherwise, and the former title challenger hasn’t been the same since. He enters Saturday’s contest on a four-fight slide, having been stopped in each of his last three outings.

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Jacoby earned his way back onto the UFC roster with a victory on Season 4 of Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) and promptly put together a seven-fight unbeaten streak to carry him into the rankings. But the Factory X Muay Thai representative is just 1-3 since, and while the losses have all been by decision in competitive bouts, it’s still a tough run for the now 36-year-old technical striker.

Something has got to give here and the styles each man deploys should mean we get an entertaining punch-up for as long as this one lasts.

Raul Rosas Jr. vs Ricky Turcios

Raul Rosas Jr. and Ricky Turcios face off during the UFC Fight Night ceremonial weigh-in at CDMX Arena on February 23, 2024 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Raul Rosas Jr. and Ricky Turcios face off during the UFC Fight Night ceremonial weigh-in at CDMX Arena on February 23, 2024 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Postponed on fight day back in February, Raul Rosas Jr. and Ricky Turcios will finally share the Octagon this weekend.

Rosas Jr. fell ill backstage prior to their original meeting, prompting the postponement, and returns here looking to build off his first-round stoppage win over Terrence Mitchell at Noche UFC last September. Still just 19 years old, “El Niño Problema” remains a bundle of raw potential and frenetic energy with loads of upside.

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After winning the bantamweight competition on Season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter, Turcios has split his first two appearances inside the Octagon. He landed on the happy side of a split decision verdict against Kevin Natividad last time out, but has yet to show the “devil may care” approach that made him a fan favorite during his run through TUF 29.

This is a reasonable step up in competition for Rosas Jr. at this stage of his career and a chance for Turcios to upset the apple cart in a bout that is going to have a lot of eyeballs on it this weekend, so we’ll see how things play out when these two get in there on Saturday.

Brunno Ferreira vs Dustin Stoltzfus

Brunno Ferreira of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory against Phil Hawes in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on January 13, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Brunno Ferreira of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory against Phil Hawes in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on January 13, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Middleweight DWCS alums coming off finishes meet here as Brunno Ferreira and Dustin Stoltzfus share the Octagon in “The Bluegrass State” this weekend.

It has been “kill or be killed” through three UFC starts for Ferreira, who earned his place on the roster with a first-round stoppage win over Leon Aliu in the fall of 2022. After starching Gregory Rodrigues in his short-notice debut at UFC 283 and landing on the business end of a similar outcome in his sophomore appearance, Ferreira began his 2024 campaign with a first-round stoppage win over Phil Hawes in January, moving to 11-1 overall while maintaining his 100 percent finishing rate.

Stoltzfus got the call to the Octagon following his DWCS clash with Joe Pyfer in 2020, but stumbled out of the gate, dropping his first three fights before finally registering a victory over Dwight Grant in the summer of ’22. After getting caught quick by Abus Magomedov last July, the American middleweight based in Germany collected his second UFC victory last December, dominating Punahele Soriano and forcing him to tap late in the second round.

Julian Marquez vs Zachary Reese

Fan favorite Julian Marquez returns to action for the first time in over a year, squaring off with Zachary Reese in the first of Saturday’s three middleweight main card fixtures.

A member of the first DWCS graduating class, Marquez competes for the first time since last March, looking to snap out of a two-fight skid. The burly finisher has shifted his preparations to The MMA Lab alongside Cannonier for this camp, so it will be interesting to see what types of changes and adjustments John Crouch and company will have implemented once Marquez steps back in.

Reese garnered his opportunity to compete on the biggest stage in the sport with a 74-second submission finish over Eli Aronov last season on the Contender Series, which pushed his record to 6-0 with all of his victories coming in the opening frame. He’s still yet to see the second round as a professional, but he’s no longer undefeated, as he was knocked out in his promotional debut in December by a Cody Brundage slam.

Miguel Baeza vs Punahele Soriano

Miguel Baeza punches Andre Fialho of Portugal in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Miguel Baeza punches Andre Fialho of Portugal in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Two more DWCS grads kick off the main card, as Miguel Baeza welcomes Punahele Soriano to the welterweight division.

Baeza came out of the gates quickly at the start of his UFC career, earning stoppage wins over Hector Aldana, Matt Brown, and Takashi Sato all in the span of 13 months to move to 10-0 overall and stamp himself as someone to watch in the 170-pound weight class. But the step up in competition that followed proved to be too much, as the South Florida native dropped his next three appearances, and competes here for the first time since his April 2022 loss to Andre Fialho.

Soriano’s story is comparable to Baeza’s, as the Hawaiian earned first-round stoppage wins in each of his first two Octagon outings, but then dropped four of his next five, including being finished in each of his last two outings. He moves down to welterweight here, and it will be interesting to see if that sparks a return to the attacking form he showed at the outset of his UFC tenure.

Preliminary Card Fights

Thiago Moises vs Ludovit Klein

Ludovit Klein Stops AJ Cunningham | UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs Gaziev
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Ludovit Klein Stops AJ Cunningham | UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs Gaziev
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Thiago Moises vs Ludovit Klein

The prelims wrap with a crackerjack matchup in the lightweight division between Thiago Moises and Ludovit Klein.

Moises collected a dominant win in March and has scored victories in three of his last four, cementing his standing as a fixture in the “Second 15” in the 155-pound ranks. Klein has been undefeated in five starts since returning to lightweight, posting a stoppage win over his own in March to move to 4-0-1 during his current unbeaten run.

Charles Radtke vs Carlos Prates

Charles Radtke looks to make it three wins in as many UFC starts this weekend, while Carlos Prates aims to halt his run by collecting a second straight victory of his own.

“Chuck Buffalo” built off his UFC 293 decision victory over Blood Diamond with a first-round knockout win over Gilbert Urbina in February, giving him six straight wins overall heading into this one. A recent DWCS grad, Prates has won eight on the bounce, including a clean second-round knockout win over Trevin Giles in his promotional debut earlier this year.

Alexa Grasso Talks TUF 32 | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Grasso vs Team Shevchenko
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Alexa Grasso Talks TUF 32 | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Grasso vs Team Shevchenko
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Brad Katona vs Jesse Butler

Two-time TUF winner Brad Katona welcomes Jesse Butler to the bantamweight division in an intriguing preliminary card pairing.

Katona followed up his TUF 31 tournament win with a unanimous decision loss to Garrett Armfield in January, dropping him to 3-3 overall in the UFC. Butler makes his second appearance inside the Octagon, skipping past his traditional weight class to debut in the 135-pound ranks following his short-notice lightweight loss to Jim Miller last summer.

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Andrea Lee vs Montana De La Rosa

Flyweight division mainstays Andrea Lee and Montana De La Rosa meet for a second time, with each looking to snap out of their current funks.

Lee, who won the first meeting in September 2019, touches down in Kentucky having dropped four straight, with her last victory coming towards the end of 2021. De La Rosa has lost each of her last three appearances, sporting just a single win in her last six outings.

Full Fight | Nassourdine Imavov vs Joaquin Buckley
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Full Fight | Nassourdine Imavov vs Joaquin Buckley
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John Castaneda vs Daniel Marcos

The preliminary card also features a compelling bantamweight clash between ascending talents John Castaneda and Daniel Marcos.

Entering on a two-fight winning streak and having won four of his last five, Castaneda has become a strong veteran presence in the 135-pound weight class over the course of his UFC tenure. A member of the DWCS Class of ’22, Marcos remains undefeated, bringing a 15-0 record with one no contest into this one.

Valentina Shevchenko Talks TUF 32 | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Grasso vs Team Shevchenko
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Valentina Shevchenko Talks TUF 32 | The Ultimate Fighter: Team Grasso vs Team Shevchenko
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Eduarda Moura vs Denise Gomes

It’s an all-Brazilian battle in the strawweight division as Eduarda Moura and Denise Gomes share the Octagon.

Moura punched her ticket to the UFC last season on the Contender Series, then instantly announced her presence as an ascending talent with a second-round stoppage win over Monserrat Conejo Ruiz. A pair of knockout wins earned Gomes a considerable step up in competition last time out, resulting in a unanimous decision loss to veteran mainstay Angela Hill.

Denise Gomes of Brazil reacts to her win in a strawweight fight during the UFC 290 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 08, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Denise Gomes of Brazil reacts to her win in a strawweight fight during the UFC 290 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 08, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Cody Stamann vs Taylor Lapilus

The second fight of the night is a compelling clash at bantamweight, as divisional stalwart Cody Stamann takes on Taylor Lapilus.

Stamann makes his 14th UFC start on Saturday, angling to bounce back from a debated decision loss to Douglas Silva de Andrade last time out. Lapilus also landed on the wrong side of a unanimous decision verdict in his most recent outing, falling to unbeaten prospect Farid Basharat in an entertaining and competitive fight at the start of the year.

Fight Inc: Inside the UFC Airing June 7th on The Roku Channel
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Fight Inc: Inside the UFC Airing June 7th on The Roku Channel
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Rayanne dos Santos vs Puja Tomar

The evening’s action gets underway in the strawweight division with Rayanne dos Santos welcoming Puja Tomar to the Octagon for the first time.

After claiming the Invicta FC atomweight title in her final appearance outside the promotion, dos Santos dropped a split decision to fellow Brazilian Talita Alencar in her first UFC appearance last December. Tomar arrives on a four-fight winning streak, having earned finishes in each of her last four appearances.

UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Imavov took place live from KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky on June 8, 2024. See the final Prelims & Main Card Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!