Women Take Center Stage at UFC 228 with Several Bouts Announced

Jessica Andrade UFC
Jessica Andrade Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Several bouts have been announced for UFC 228 and it appears the strawweights will take center stage when the Octagon returns to Dallas, Texas.

Earlier today, the flyweight title fight between Nicco Montaño and Valentina Shevchenko was made official for UFC 228 in September.  However, it was also announced by the UFC today that several other bouts will take place including two marquee bouts in the women’s strawweight division.

The first is the announcement of the expected title eliminator between Jessica Andrade and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.  With current champion Rose Namajunas nursing a neck injury and in no rush to return, the company has been looking to book the fight to help sort out the strawweight title picture.  Top contender Andrade is riding back-to-back wins over Tecia Torres and Claudia Gadelha and is heavily favored against the Polish striker.  Kowalkiewicz has a huge opportunity to score an upset over Andrade.  The former title challenger is coming off of wins over Jodie Esquibel and Felice Herrig.  If she can score a victory over Andrade, she would carry into a title shot the storyline of being the last woman to defeat the champion.

The second bout features top-ten ranked Carla Esparza against Tatiana Suarez.  Esparza had a two fight win-streak snapped last month when she lost a split-decision to Claudia Gadelha.  Suarez would move into the top five with a victory and at just 6-0 she is making a huge jump in competition against the former champion.  The winner of the bout would likely be in line for a fight with the winner of next week’s bout between Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Tecia Torres in another possible title eliminator.

In the men’s featherweight division, a bout between Yair Rodriguez and Zabit Magomedsharipov was confirmed.  After controversially being released and re-signed, Rodriguez meets the streaking Magomedsharipov in a fight that stylistically pits two of the most creative young strikers in the world against each other.  Other bouts previously announced were between bantamweight contenders Jimmie Rivera and John Dodson and Aljamain Sterling vs Cody Stamann.

UFC 228 is set to take place on September 08 in Dallas, Texas.  The championship bout between Nicco Montaño and Valentina Shevchenko has been announced as noted, but it is unclear whether it will be the main or co-main event.