UFC: With Kay Hansen Out, Invicta’s Montserrat Ruiz Steps In Against Cheyanne Buys

Invicta FC 41 Montserrat Ruiz
Montserrat Ruiz Credit: Dave Mander/Invicta FC

Cheyanne Buys, who will be making her octagon debut next weekend at UFC on ESPN 21, has a new opponent — fellow Invicta FC alum Montserrat Ruiz.

Buys (5-1) won her way into the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series last year. “The Warrior Princess,” whose husband JP Buys is also now a UFC fighter, was expected to debut on March 20 against Kay Hansen. Hansen, however, was forced out of the fight, with both fighters announcing the news on social media on Friday.

“Yesterday I received a call [stating that] my fight against [Kay Hansen] is off due to unknown reasons,” wrote Buys, announcing the change in opponents. “Whatever it is you’re going through hope you’re well and we will see each other another time.

I was told we can push our fight back a few weeks but I signed the contract to fight next weekend and make history with my husband so that is what my team and I are going to do!”

Buys went on to thank Ruiz for taking the bout, and matchmaker Mick Maynard and the UFC for finding her a new opponent.

Hansen, meanwhile, released her own statement.Devastated to say the least. In almost 13 professional fights I’ve never even had the thought of pulling out. I did absolutely everything in my power to try & make this work but my health wasn’t having it. My health and well being come first. I’ll be back.”

Montserrat Ruiz (9-1) steps up on just over a week’s notice while coming off a win last July over Janaisa Morandin at Invicta FC 41. That was to have led to a title fight with Emily Ducote at Invicta FC 43 in November. However, the bout was called off after both fighters had successfully weighed in, due to “enhanced COVID-19 protocols,” per promotion officials. Invicta later confirmed to Cageside Press that the main event pair had potentially been exposed to the virus, with the bout planned to be pushed back for precautionary reasons.

UFC Vegas 22 (as UFC on ESPN 21 is otherwise known) takes place Saturday, March 20 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. With the change to the Buys bout, the card now breaks down as follows:

Derek Brunson vs. Kevin Holland
Tai Tuivasa vs. Don’Tale Mayes
Gregor Gillespie vs. Brad Riddell
Song Kenan vs. Max Griffin
Marion Reneau vs. Macy Chiasson
Adrian Yanez vs. Gustavo Lopez
Julia Avila vs. Julija Stoliarenko
Trevin Giles vs. Roman Dolidze
Leonardo Santos vs. Grant Dawson
JP Buys vs. Bruno Gustavo da Silva
Johnny Eduardo vs. Anthony Birchak
Montel Jackson vs. Jesse Strader
Montserrat Ruiz vs. Cheyanne Buys