The UFC returns to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, for the first time since the ill-fated UFC 149 six years ago for UFC on FOX 30 on July 28.
UFC 149 was set to be a blockbuster card in 2012, but the injury bug bit down hard and it imploded. It held together with an interim bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and Urijah Faber headlining, but the line-up barely resembled a pay-per-view worthy event come fight time. Not only did the roster fail to excite fans, but so did most of the fights.
Then featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo (26-4) was originally slated to defend his belt in the main event of UFC 149, but he was one of the fighters felled by injury and had to withdraw. He’s going to try again to make it to Scotiabank Saddledome when the UFC returns this summer.
Officials have inked a UFC on FOX 30 co-main event bout between Aldo and fellow featherweight contender Jeremy Stephens (28-14). With Aldo and Stephens ranked as two of the top featherweight fighters in the world, whomever walks away the victor remains in the thick of the 145-pound title talk.
“Having Aldo, that wasn’t a fluke,” David Shaw, senior vice-president of international and content for the UFC, told the Calgary Sun on Friday. “Getting arguably the best featherweight of all time, one of the best champions and pound-for-pound fighters of all time on this card, that was calculated because he couldn’t come last time, so we wanted to give back to fans.”
In addition to the Aldo vs. Stephens co-main event, UFC officials revealed several other bouts for the UFC on FOX 30 fight card, although a headliner is still in the works.
UFC on FOX 30 Fight Card
- Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens (co-main event)
- Alexis Davis vs. Katlyn Chookagian
- Randa Markos vs. Nina Ansaroff
- Dustin Ortiz vs. Matheus Nicolau
- Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Ion Cutelaba
- Jordan Mein vs. Alex Morono
- John Makdessi vs. Ross Pearson
- Kajan Johnson squaring vs. Islam Makhachev
- Hakeem Dawodu vs. Austin Arnett