The UFC 170 main card isn’t the only one undergoing major changes. While UFC 173 lost its co-main event and UFC Fight Night 37 lost a flyweight match, Legacy FC booked a title bout with WMMA’s top prospect.
Legacy FC 30
Holly Holm, the boxer turned mixed martial artist who has plowed through her first six opponents, will face Julianna Werner for the inaugural Legacy FC Women’s Bantamweight Championship on April 4.
Holm (6-0) is undefeated in six professional MMA fights with five victories coming by knockout. Her last fight, a unanimous decision victory over Angela Hayes last December, was her first decided by the judges’ scorecard.
Since debuting in 2011, ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ has rotated between multiple Southwestern MMA promotions, unfazed by her inexperience. The UFC courted Holm, but she held out in search of a bigger payday.
After taking a five-year hiatus, Werner (7-3) returned to MMA in 2011 and won her first four fights. The 32-year-old flyweight is a six-time Brazilian kickboxing champion who has been fighting professionally since 2005. Werner will make her Legacy FC debut following a unanimous decision victory of Deise Lee Rocha last August.
The highly-charged match between The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 coaches Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen has been moved to an unnamed Brazilian event on May 31. Their original bout was to precede the Chris Weidman-Vitor Belfort title fight at UFC 173.
Silva (35-12-1) hasn’t fought since a knocking out Brian Stann last March. ‘The Axe Murderer’ has had a rocky go over the last few years, compiling a 5-7 record since 2006. Despite the mark, Silva’s position in the UFC appears untouchable.
Sonnen (28-14-1) is also having a tough time, losing three of his last four fights. He followed a memorable guillotine choke victory over Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua with an underwhelming performance against Rashad Evans at UFC 167. Sonnen was knocked out with less than a minute left in the first round.
Tension between the two boiled over a few weeks ago when they got into a fist fight with filming TUF Brazil 3. Sonnen and Silva have detested each other for years, beginning with an argument over Sonnen’s apparent disrespect of Brazilian fighters.
UFC officials did not give a reason for the date change.
UFC Fight Night 37
Southern California native Ian McCall is pulling out of his second consecutive bout due to injury.
McCall (12-4-1) is withdrawing from next month’s UFC Fight Night 37 and Brad Pickett, McCall’s expected opponent, is searching for a replacement, UFC President Dana White said at a media luncheon earlier this week.
The oft-injured McCall defeated Iliarde Santos last August to snap a two-match losing streak. He looked to continue the momentum against Scott Jorgensen at UFC on Fox 9 before he was deemed unable to compete.
Pickett (23-8) is the No. 6 ranked bantamweight in the UFC despite losing three of his last six fights. His skills, however, have never been in doubt as he has earned a Knockout of the Night and four Fight of the Night honors over the last three years. Pickett expected to make his flyweight debut.