(Click on the fight below and then scroll down to see in-fight live analytics and the latest results, courtesy of Fight Analytics. The first UFC on ESPN 2: Barboza vs. Gaethje bout from Philadelphia is scheduled to begin on Saturday, March 30, at 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT.)
UFC on ESPN 2: Barboza vs. Gaethje marks the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to the City of Brother Love for the first time since UFC 133 in 2011, when Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz was the main event. Saturday’s fight card isn’t a pay-per-view, but the second promotional foray onto ESPN’s flagship network.
A fiery lightweight bout between top contenders Edson Barboza and Justin Gaethje takes top billing in Philadelphia. Both men are know for their explosive striking displays, but if it will play out in such fashion is anyone’s guess, as they are also fighting to remain relevant in the 155-pound division’s title picture.
Barboza (20-6) had his championship aspirations crushed by back-to-back losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee. Nurmagomedov is now the reigning UFC lightweight champion.
Gaethje (19-2) exploded onto the UFC scene following and undefeated start to his career that led to a World Series of Fighting title run. He also had his progress stopped by two consecutive losses. He dropped bouts to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. Alvarez has moved on to ONE Championship, while Poirier is slated to fight featherweight champion Max Holloway for the interim UFC lightweight title at UFC 236 next month in Atlanta.
The UFC on ESPN 2 features middleweight veterans David Branch and Jack Hermansson, but most eyeballs will be glued to the feature fight between top strawweight contenders Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Michelle Waterson.
UFC on ESPN 2 takes place on Saturday, March 30, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Check out the MMAWeekly.com Rumors page for more scheduled events and rumored fight cards.