On Saturday, Nov. 10, the UFC is back in Denver, where the promo’s inaugural event occurred 25 years ago. In November 1993, Gerard Gordeau kicked Teila Tuli’s tooth into the audience simply 26 seconds into the preliminary of the first-ever fight in the UFC, marking the start of an up-and-down journey that has led to the UFC ending up being the most significant and most effective MMA promotion worldwide.
The UFC Fight Night 139 centerpiece is a match-up in between ranked fighters in the featherweight department. Neither Chan Sung Jung nor Yair Rodriguez has actually stepped foot inside the cage in over a year. Jung has been sidelined with a knee injury, and Rodriguez has handled a mix of injuries and an odd standoff with the promo which saw him released and re-signed to the UFC lineup in a three-week period in May. “El Pantera” need to be back in the good graces of the UFC brass after he stepped up to take this fight on simply 2 weeks’ notice when Jung’s initial opponent, Frankie Edgar, was forced to withdraw from the bout with an injury. Jung and Rodriguez both have interesting styles, and their prominent showdown is just what both men need to advise fans that they are 2 of the most talented and entertaining fighters in the featherweight division.
In the night’s co-headliner, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone makes his third UFC appearance in his hometown when he squares off versus “Platinum” Mike Perry. Cerrone is 1-1 in his two previous UFC bouts in Denver. He scored a knockout win over Melvin Guillard in 2012 and suffered a TKO loss at the hands of Jorge Masvidal in 2017. The major story behind this fight is the drama surrounding Perry’s brand-new relationship with Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA, the longtime training camp of Cerrone. After losing 2 successive battles, Perry made the transfer to Albuquerque, N.M., to train with among the most well-known and effective fight camps in MMA history. Eventually, JacksonWink decided to train the more youthful fighter, Perry, rather than Cerrone, comparable to the method they picked to align themselves with Jon Jones over Rashad Evans, among Greg Jackson’s longest-tenured students. Loyalties were cast doubt on in a public back-and-forth in between the two sides, turning this from an interesting contest between two skilled guys who would probably have a beer together after the fight into a bitter, petty and individual face-off.
The primary card likewise consists of the return of Germaine de Randamie, who moves back to bantamweight after winning and subsequently being removed of the females’s featherweight title. She squares off against Raquel Pennington, who is looking to rebound after her unsuccessful effort at dismissing Amanda Nunes as the queen of the 135-pound department. Two former title oppositions square off when Joseph Benavidez takes on Ray Borg in the flyweight division, which was switched on its head over the past week with former champ and all-time fantastic Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson delegating sign with ONE Championship and reports of present champ Henry Cejudo moving up in weight to deal with T.J. Dillashaw. When the dust settles, the winner of this fight could be at the top of the list for another fracture at flyweight gold.
The event, which takes place at the Pepsi Center, begins with the early prelims airing live on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET. The action moves to Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET for the telecasted portions of the prelims and remains on the network at 10 p.m. ET for the primary card.
Chan Sung Jung vs. Yair Rodriguez
Donald Cerrone vs. Mike Perry
Germaine de Randamie vs. Raquel Pennington
Beneil Dariush vs. Thiago Moises
Maycee Barber vs. Hannah Cifers
Luis Pena vs. Mike Trizano