The UFC was once again playing a home game on Saturday, with UFC Vegas 76 back in the APEX for another Sean Strickland main event.
The middleweight had become a frequently flyer in the main event scene over the past year or so, but his latest opponent had come as a surprise. Abus Magomedov, in just his second UFC fight, had landed to spot headlining opposite the talkative, controversial Strickland. Something of an oddity, given Magomedov was not ranked in the promotion — though a win over Strickland would almost certainly change that.
With Strickland still hanging on in the title picture at 185lbs, a win on Saturday would be huge. Ranked or not, Magomedov was a formidable foe, and with Robert Whittaker facing Dricus Du Plessis next month, the next challenger for Israel Adesanya was in question. The promotion was clearly hoping for a quick turnaround from one of Whittaker or Du Plessis to face Adesanya in Sydney in September, but taking damage in the fight could open the door for Strickland.
Also on the UFC Vegas 76 card, the return of Kevin Lee, and lightweights Damir Ismagulov and Grant Dawson in the co-feature.
Following Saturday’s UFC Vegas 76 card, tune in for the post-fight press conference. A live stream of the proceeding is available above.