UFC’s December to remember will be highlighted by an unprecedented three-event fight week featuring some of the sport’s biggest stars. The action begins Thursday, December 10 as No. 6 strawweight contender Paige VanZant battles No. 8 Joanne Calderwood on UFC FIGHT PASS in the main event of UFC FIGHT NIGHT: VanZANT vs. CALDERWOOD. The following night No. 2 featherweight contender Frankie Edgar and No. 3 Chad Mendes serve as the marquee bout of The Ultimate Fighter®: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber Finale. Both events will take place at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
The blockbuster weekend culminates Saturday night when the first featherweight champion in UFC history, Jose Aldo, and interim champion Conor McGregor, finally settle their differences in the main event of UFC 194: ALDO vs. McGREGOR.
Former lightweight champion Edgar (18-4-1, fighting out of Toms River, N.J.) looks to secure a shot at the title with a win in the five-round main event of The Ultimate Fighter Finale. “The Answer” is riding a four-fight win streak that includes wins over Mendes’ teammate Urijah Faber, Cub Swanson, UFC legend BJ Penn and Charles Oliveira. A win here would solidify his place as the No. 1 contender in the stacked 145-pound division. Mendes (17-3, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) looks to get back in the win column after a short notice loss to McGregor in July. With a full camp behind him, the Team Alpha Male standout is confident the result will be different and that he will leave the Octagon® in line for another shot at championship gold.
Setting the stage for Edgar and Mendes will be the much anticipated return of third-ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov (22-0, fighting out of Dagestan, Russia), who looks to keep his perfect record intact when he meets No. 9 Tony Ferguson (20-3, fighting out of Ventura, Calif.). Ferguson is coming off back-to-back Performance of the Night victories, and he hopes to climb into the top five of the division by handing Nurmagomedov the first loss of his career.
To headline the first UFC FIGHT PASS card on American soil, VanZant (6-1, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) meets Scottish sensation Calderwood (10-1, fighting out of Glasgow, Scotland). VanZant, who is one of mixed martial arts fastest rising stars, will need to use her relentless attack to counter Calderwood’s dangerous striking in hopes of staying undefeated inside the Octagon and take one step closer to a shot at the title. With four wins by knockout – three in the first round, the Scot is the most dangerous opponent to date for the Team Alpha Male prodigy.