In the most anticipated matchup in UFC history, two kings battle for one throne, as inaugural UFC featherweight champion and pound-for-pound great Jose Aldo returns to face newly-crowned interim champion Conor McGregor in the five-round main event of UFC 194. Plus, undefeated middleweight champion Chris Weidman puts his spotless record on the line when he meets No. 1 contender Luke Rockhold in the co-main event. UFC 194: ALDO vs. McGREGOR takes over the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Jose Aldo (25-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), UFC’s first-ever featherweight champion, has proven to be one of the most dominant titleholders in the history of the sport, as he’s compiled seven consecutive title defenses while remaining unbeaten for nearly a decade. Slated to meet earlier in the year at the record-breaking UFC 189 event, an injury forced Aldo to withdraw from the contest against bitter rival Conor McGregor (18-2, fighting out of Dublin, Ireland). The undeterred Irishman was then pitted against No. 1 contender Chad Mendes, who he defeated with a thrilling second-round knockout to claim the interim title.
Ready to finally settle the score, Aldo returns to the Octagon® to prove he is the undisputed featherweight champion, while “The Notorious” intends to cement his claim as the true 145-pound world champion.
In the second half of this championship doubleheader, undefeated middleweight champion Chris Weidman (13-0, fighting out of Baldwin, N.Y.) will clash with former STRIKEFORCE middleweight champion Luke Rockhold (14-2, fighting out of San Jose, Calif.) in the co-main event. Having defeated former champions Anderson Silva (twice), Lyoto Machida and, most recently, Vitor Belfort, Weidman looks to add another name to his perfect record. Rockhold earned his crack at the title after racking up four stoppage victories, including impressive second-round submissions over Machida and Michael Bisping. This high-stakes bout has analysts wondering if this could be the greatest middleweight matchup in UFC history.
Plus, vying for the next shot at the 185-pound championship, No. 2 contender and former STRIKEFORCE middleweight champion Jacare Souza (22-3, 1NC, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) goes toe-to-toe with third-ranked Yoel Romero (10-1, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Pinar del Rio, Cuba), who is riding a six-fight unbeaten streak that includes five knockouts.
Additional bouts include:
· In a showdown between top-ranked welterweights, No. 6 Demian Maia (24-6, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) will look for a fourth straight win when he meets Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, No. 11 Gunnar Nelson (14-1-1, fighting out of Reykjavik, Iceland).
· In what promises to be an exciting featherweight scrap, fifth-ranked Max Holloway (14-3, fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii) takes on UFC veteran and eighth-ranked Jeremy Stephens (24-11, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.).
· MMA legend and former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber (32-8, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) returns to the bantamweight division to face No. 12 Frankie Saenz (11-2, fighting out of Scottsdale, Ariz.).
· The Ultimate Fighter® Season 20 standout and fifth-ranked strawweight contender Tecia Torres (6-0, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) meets former Invicta FC atomweight champion and 11th-ranked contender Michelle Waterson (13-4, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.), in a 115-pound bout.
· Undefeated rising contenders Warlley Alves (10-0, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Colby Covington (8-0, fighting out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) square off in a welterweight bout.
· The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 winner Leonardo Santos (14-4, 1NC, fighting out of Campos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) takes on surging lightweight star Kevin Lee (11-1, fighting out of Las Vegas.), a winner of four straight.
· Joe Proctor (11-3, fighting out of Bridgewater, Mass.) meets Russian prospect Magomed Mustafaev (12-1, fighting out of Sochi, Russia).
· Tristar Gym staple John Makdessi (12-4, fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada) battles exciting lightweight Yancy Medeiros (11-3, 1NC, fighting out of Makaha, Hawaii).
· The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 veteran Court McGee (16-4, fighting out of Orem, Utah) takes on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 finalist Marcio Alexandre (13-2, fighting out of Florianopolis, Brazil) in a welterweight showdown.