UFC 296 will be an exciting night of fights in Las Vegas, with two world championship bouts. The welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington is sure to be a highlight, as well as the flyweight title bout featuring Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval. Fans can also look forward to watching talented fighters from different weight classes and countries, including Shavkat Rakhmonov, Tony Ferguson, and Alonzo Menifield.
UFC 296’s main event is set to happen on Saturday, December 16, 2023, in Paradise, Nevada at the T-Mobile Arena. The main card will kick off at 7:00 PM PST and can be viewed through pay-per-view on ESPN+.
Welterweight Title Bout: Leon Edwards © vs. Colby Covington
All eyes are on the welterweight title fight between current champion Leon Edwards and former interim champion Colby Covington at UFC 296. Edwards secured his first title shot in the division with a unanimous decision victory over Kamaru Usman at UFC 261 in April 2023. Meanwhile, Covington is determined to redeem himself after a split decision loss to Usman at UFC 258 in February 2023, which ended his impressive four-fight winning streak.
With a record of 18 wins and four losses, Edwards is highly esteemed as one of the top welterweight fighters in the world. He has an impressive seven-fight winning streak in the UFC, including notable triumphs against Stephen Thompson, Tyron Woodley, and Gilbert Burns. His strengths lie in his striking techniques, wrestling prowess, and exceptional endurance.
Covington has a record of 23 wins and six losses in MMA, making him one of the most divisive figures in the sport’s history. He is no stranger to controversy, often engaging in trash-talking with opponents such as Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Despite two close defeats to Usman, he has bounced back with three consecutive victories in the UFC.
This upcoming battle will be a clash of techniques, as both fighters are highly skilled in striking but have contrasting styles. Edwards relies on his jab and leg kicks to set up his heavy hits or engage in close quarters with his opponents. On the other hand, Covington prefers to constantly push forward with multiple strikes from various angles and also utilize his takedown abilities.
Each fighter is certain in their abilities and determined to claim the belt, solidifying their status as the top welterweight in the world.
Flyweight Title Bout: Alexandre Pantoja © vs. Brandon Royval
The co-main event for UFC 296 features a title bout in the flyweight division between Alexandre Pantoja, the reigning champion, and Brandon Royval, the former LFA Flyweight Champion. Pantoja secured his first title shot by winning against Brandon Moreno at UFC on ESPN: Cannonier vs. Gastelum in August 2021 via unanimous decision. Meanwhile, Royval hopes to make a strong impression in his debut fight for the UFC after knocking out John Lineker at LFA 38 in October 2021.
Pantoja is a highly renowned flyweight in the world of MMA, boasting an impressive record of 22 wins and only six losses. After his split decision defeat against Moreno at UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Silva in June 2019, he has bounced back with seven consecutive victories. His fighting style is characterized by his unrelenting aggression, precise striking abilities, and proficiency in submissions.
With a record of nine victories and only two defeats, Royval is undoubtedly one of the most talented flyweights not currently signed with the UFC. Since making his debut with LFA as an amateur fighter, he has triumphed in all four contests. His quickness, strength in punching, experience in wrestling, and knack for delivering knockouts have made him a standout fighter.
This match will be a chance for both contenders to demonstrate their abilities against each other’s strengths. Pantoja will rely on his longer reach and high output striking to overpower Royval from various ranges. On the other hand, Royval will utilize his quickness and punch power to catch Pantoja off guard or bring him down to the mat.
Both contenders possess unwavering belief in themselves as they prepare to battle for the belt, determined to etch their names in history as flyweight champions.
Welterweight Bout: Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson
The third fight on the main card of UFC 296 is a welterweight bout between rising star Shavkat Rakhmonov and former interim champion Stephen Thompson. Rakhmonov made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night: Song vs Gutiérrez on November 26th, where he defeated Alex Morono by unanimous decision after five rounds. Thompson was supposed to face Kamaru Usman at UFC Fight Night: Ankalaev vs Walker II on December 17th, but he pulled out due to injury.
Most Popular Fighters In Ufc History
wo weight classes: In the world of professional fighting, there are two main weight classes: featherweight and lightweight. Considered to be one of the greatest fighters in history, Jon Jones holds an impressive record of 26 wins and only one loss. He has successfully defended his light heavyweight title 11 times, a feat that ties the UFC record for most title defenses. In addition, he has won the interim title twice and once challenged for the heavyweight title. Fans admire him for his striking techniques, wrestling prowess, and magnetic personality.
Conor McGregor: The Irish superstar is widely considered the greatest attraction in UFC history, boasting more than 40 million followers on Instagram and over 10 million subscribers on YouTube. He has been the main event for four pay-per-view events, including two UFC 200 fights against Nate Diaz and Eddie Alvarez. Additionally, he has claimed multiple championships in his career.
Anderson Silva: Widely regarded as the greatest fighter to have stepped into the octagon, this Brazilian legend boasts an impressive record of 34 wins and seven losses. His dominance in the middleweight division is unparalleled, having defended his title nine times – a record that remains unbeaten. In addition to his reign in the middleweight class, he has also claimed titles in the light heavyweight category. Renowned for his versatility, creativity, and sheer dominance, he has left an indelible mark on the world of MMA.
Ronda Rousey: This MMA legend holds a record of 12 victories and only two defeats, solidifying her status as one of the most influential figures in the sport’s history. She made history as the first female fighter to headline a UFC event and win titles in both the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Prior to joining MMA, she was an Olympic judo medalist and a professional wrestler for WWE.