If there was one word to describe the UFC Orlando card, it would be simple: fun.
A fun fight card, and one deep with familiar names for the Florida UFC faithful and those watching at home. Headlining the show, the UFC’s first trip to Orlando since 2018, was a welterweight showdown between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Kevin Holland.
Being frank, a grappling match was not expected in that five-round affair. Rather, it had fans and the fighters themselves excited for what was expected to be a high-level striking extravaganza.
The co-main event, also at welterweight, saw former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos returning to the 170lb division, looking to bounce back from a loss to Rafael Fiziev. That fifth round defeat may have signaled the end of RDA’s dream of another title reign in the UFC, but he remains a marquee name in the promotion, and a Brazilian legend — hence the pairing with Bryan Barberena.
“Bam Bam” Barberena has taken on a “legend killer” role of late, and while he’s not out RKO’ing opponents Randy Orton-style, he has picked up wins over Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler in his last two outings. A third win over a storied veteran, and a second straight win over a former champ, could give Barberena a serious push upward in the division.
Yet another “Bam Bam” was also in action at UFC Orlando, with Australian heavyweight Tai Tuivasa facing Sergei Pavlovich. With names like Jack Hermansson, Amanda Ribas, and Niko Price on the docket as well, the ESPN card looked to be a good one.
Weigh-ins for UFC Orlando go down Friday morning — check below for results.
Matt Schnell was the first fighter to encounter difficulty on Friday morning, coming in just 0.5lbs over the flyweight limit while weighing in behind the barrier. He was given until the end of weigh-ins (11AM ET) to shave off the remaining half pound, and did so. Quite literally, has Schnell shaved his head before weighing in a second time at 126lbs.
Phil Rowe, meanwhile, came in 2.5lbs heavy for his welterweight fight with Niko Price, expected to be the UFC Orlando featured prelim. Weighing in with just 10 minutes or so left in the wind, Rowe was well over the limit.
UFC Orlando: Thompson vs. Holland Weigh-In Results
Welterweight: Stephen Thompson (170) vs. Kevin Holland (170.5)
Welterweight: Bryan Barberena (170.5) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (170)
Flyweight: Matheus Nicolau (126) vs. Matt Schnell (126)*
Heavyweight: Tai Tuivasa (266) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (255)
Middleweight: Jack Hermansson (186) vs. Roman Dolidze (185.5)
Middleweight: Eryk Anders (186) vs. Kyle Daukaus (184.5)
Welterweight: Niko Price (170) vs. Philip Rowe (173.5)**
Women’s Strawweight: Angela Hill (115.5) vs. Emily Ducote (115.5)
Lightweight: Clay Guida (154.5) vs. Scott Holtzman (155.5)
Lightweight: Michael Johnson (156) vs. Marc Diakiese (155.5)
Featherweight: Darren Elkins (145) vs. Jonathan Pearce (146)
Women’s Flyweight: Tracy Cortez (125) vs. Amanda Ribas (125)
Lightweight: Natan Levy (156) vs. Genaro Valdez (156)
Featherweight: Marcelo Rojo (145) vs. Francis Marshall (145)
Women’s Strawweight: Yazmin Jauregui (115.5) vs. Istela Nunes (114.5)
* Matt Schnell weighs in at 126.5, a half pound over the flyweight non-title limit. He had until 11AM ET to cut the remaining weight, and did successfully.
** Phil Rowe missed weight by 2.5lbs for his welterweight bout with Niko Price