With a huge summer coming for the UFC, the promotion closes out the month of May tonight with one more card emanating from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nev.
Ranked women’s strawweights will collide in the main event when No. 8 Mackenzie Dern takes on No. 14 Angela Hill.
Fight fans can catch UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Hill (UFC Vegas 73) streaming live on ESPN+ beginning at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT for the prelims, with the main card set to get underway at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Main Event — Dern vs. Hill
The main event for Saturday’s card was not settled up until two weeks ago, when a three-round strawweight fight between Dern and Hill scheduled for UFC Charlotte last weekend was moved off the show and made the new main event of this weekend’s UFC Vegas card. The fight, which was originally scheduled for three rounds, will be the typical five-round fare of UFC main events, so the winner of Saturday’s main event could come down to whichever fighter has more in the tank in the championship rounds.
The original main event between Raquel Pennington and Irene Aldana was scrapped after Aldana was pegged by the UFC brass to replace Julianna Pena in the main event of UFC 289, which takes place in Vancouver, B.C., Canada on June 10.
Both Dern and Hill are durable staples of the 115-pound division. Dern’s jiu-jitsu knows few equals throughout all UFC women’s divisions, and her stand-up game has been a constant evolution under Head Coach Jason Perillo in Huntington Beach, Calif. Dern pushed future strawweight contender Yan Xiaonan in her most recent fight, another five-round main event and took home a split decision against Tecia Torres in the fight before that. Dern has typically fallen back on his boxing when unable to secure takedowns, but her greatest success has come when her opponents have opted to take her down.
Hill does not figure to be shooting for any takedowns against Dern, as she is one of the division’s very best standup fighters. Saturday will mark her second five-round main event in the UFC. Although this fight appears on paper to be “striker vs. grappler,” Dern’s improved stand-up and Hill’s takedown defense and unwillingness to accept bottom position will likely lend itself to a five-round standup fight. Make no mistake, Hill’s best chance will be to keep the fight standing, so it will be up to Dern to pick her spots when entering for takedowns and to give Hill as little breathing room as possible.
Most sportsbooks see Dern as a -170 favorite while Hill can be had at around a +140 underdog price tag.
Rest of the Card
The co-main event will see Edmen Shahbazyan take on Anthony Hernandez in the middleweight division Shahbazyan recently switched his camp to Xtreme Couture and is looking to rehab his career after three consecutive defeats. His second-round knockout of Dalcha Lugiambala at UFC 282 will inspire confidence, but he will now need to contend with the pace and pressure of “Fluffy,” who could be gunning for the back end of the UFC rankings with a win.
Elsewhere on the main card, Emily Ducote and Loopy Godinez, recent opponents of Hill’s will meet in a matchup of exciting young women’s strawweights. Andre Fialho will also welcome Joaquin Buckley to the welterweight division in a fight that will probably end with someone looking up at the ceiling. The sleeper fight of the card will open the main card. Carlos Diego Ferreira meets Michael Johnson in a matchup of lightweight veterans that should take on the look of a modern-day striker vs. grappler fight.
Seven exciting preliminary bouts will lead into the main card. Fights of note include Chase Hooper making his 155-pound debut against Nick Fiore. Fiore notably went the distance with Polish standout Mateusz Rebecki on short notice. Women’s flyweight prospect Natalia Silva will be looking to put on a show against Victoria Leonardo, and Vanessa Demopoulous will look to keep her winning streak alive against women’s strawweight veteran Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
With fights subject to change as always, be sure to stay locked into MMA Sucka for up-to-the-minute results and updates.
UFC Vegas 73: Dern vs. Hill Results
Mackenzie Dern def. Angela Hill via Unanimous Decision (49–43, 49–44, 49–44)
Anthony Hernandez def. Edmen Shahbazyan via TKO (strikes) at 1:31 of Round 3
Loopy Godinez def. Emily Ducote via Unanimous Decision
Joaquin Buckley def. Andre Fialho via Knockout (Head kick) at 4:15 of Round 2
Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Michael Johnson via Knockout (Overhand right) at 1:50 of Round 2
Viacheslav Borshchev def. Maheshate via TKO (punches) at 2:37 of Round 2
Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Vanessa Demopoulos via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Gilbert Urbina def. Orion Cosce via TKO (Liver shot and strikes) at 2:55 of Round 2
Rodrigo Nascimento def. Ilir Latifi via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Chase Hooper def. Nick Fiore via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Natalia Silva def. Victoria Leonardo via TKO (strikes) at 2:58 of Round 1
Themba Gorimbo def. Takashi Sato via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)