The bout order is set for the UFC’s return to Brooklyn in April, though the lineup may still be in flux.
The top of the main card features a pair of title fights. In the main event, interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) takes on Khabib Nurmagomedov (25-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC). The winner will become the undisputed 155-pound champion since Conor McGregor has yet to defend the belt he won in November 2016.
And in the co-feature, women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) puts her belt on the line for the first time since she took it from Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) at Madison Square Garden at UFC 217 in November. Jedrzejczyk gets a quick rematch to try to recapture the title.
UFC 223 will take place April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The main card will air on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
The featured bout on the main card is at featherweight between Calvin Kattar (18-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and Renato Moicano (11-1-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC). Plus, Michael Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) takes on former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC). And to open the main card on pay-per-view, Paul Felder (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) meets Al Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC).
The featured bout to close out the FS1-broadcast prelims is a women’s strawweight fight between the streaking Felice Herrig (13-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC). And the featured contest on UFC Fight Pass is at lightweight between Chris Gruetzemacher (13-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and veteran all-time bonus winner Joe Lauzon (27-14 MMA, 14-11 UFC).
A lightweight fight between Evan Dunham (18-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) and Mairbek Taisumov (27-5 MMA, 6-1 UFC), however, reportedly is in jeopardy due to visa timing issues for Taisumov. Those issues reportedly have forced him off the card, though the UFC has yet to make a formal announcement of his removal, or if Dunham will remain on the show against a short-notice replacement opponent.
The latest UFC 223 lineup includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov – for lightweight title
- Champ Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk – for women’s strawweight title
- Calvin Kattar vs. Renato Moicano
- Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis
- Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta
PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)
- Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
- Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno
- Devin Clark vs. Michael Rodriguez
- Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)
- Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Joe Lauzon
- Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Bec Rawlings
- Alex Caceres vs. Artem Lobov
- Kyle Bochniak vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC 223 bout order set with two title fights, Paul Felder-Al Iaquinta opener on pay-per-view