A previously booked matchup at strawweight, which was due to feature on the main portion of this weekend’s UFC card, has been moved to a new date and given main event status.
Mackenzie Dern vs Angela Hill was originally booked for this upcoming Saturday as part of a Fight Night card from the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. But plans changed for the promotion, as they had a spot to fill in the main event of a card later this month. The duo is now expected to compete a week later with an extra two rounds stapled onto their previous three-round agreement.
Dern vs. Hill will now headline UFC Vegas 73 on May 20 event from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, per a report from MMA Fighting on Monday.
UFC Vegas 73 needed new main event
A reshuffling of matchups recently caused the need for a new headliner on May 20. The original plan was for bantamweights Raquel Pennington and Irene Aldana to take the stage for a five-round bout later this month. However, Aldana was pulled from the booking and placed against UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes for the promotion’s June 10 event.
The reason for Aldana’s rescheduling was due to a change in the title picture. UFC originally planned to have Nunes face Julianna Pena in a trilogy bout at UFC 289 later this year. But after Pena was withdrawn from the matchup, a new opponent was needed.
Aldana is currently ranked second in the division, with the only person above her being the aforementioned Pena.
The booking saved a title fight booking for a pay-per-view event, although it left Raquel Pennington out of the upcoming schedule. It is not known when she is expected to compete again.
Hill aims to keep momentum going, Dern looks for first main event win
Hill is currently coming off a pair of wins from 2022. She snapped a three-fight skid with a successful second half to the year, prevailing on scorecards against Loopy Godinez and Emily Ducote. A victory in a few weeks for Hill would give her a three-fight winning streak for the first time since early 2020.
This is not the first time Hill has received an unexpected upgrade to her fight. In 2020, she headlined a UFC card against Michelle Waterson-Gomez after a previously-booked headline between light heavyweights Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira fell through.
Dern is still chasing that elusive first main event victory. She has headlined two UFC cards in the past, but has come up short in both appearances. Those fights include a 2021 appearance against Marina Rodriguez and her most recent fight, a decision loss against Yan Xiaonan from October.
Dern’s last win was at UFC 273 last year, when she edged out a split decision win against veteran Tecia Torres.
May 20 will also mark the first time that strawweights have headlined a UFC card this year.
Updated UFC card for May 20
A total of 13 fights are now expected to happen on May 20. This card includes a veteran matchup between Michael Johnson and Diego Ferreira, plus appearances from notable names like Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Chase Hooper, Joaquin Buckley, and others.
Here’s the updated lineup:
Strawweight: Mackenzie Dern vs. Angela Hill
Middleweight: Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Anthony Hernandez
Lightweight: Maheshate vs. Viacheslav Borshchev
Lightweight: Michael Johnson vs. Diego Ferreira
Welterweight: Andre Fialho vs. Joaquin Buckley
Catchweight 120 lbs: Emily Ducote vs. Polyana Viana
Strawweight: Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Vanessa Demopoulos
Heavyweight: Ilir Latifi vs. Rodrigo Nascimento
Lightweight: Chase Hooper vs. Nick Fiore
Flyweight: Victoria Leonardo vs. Natalia Silva
Welterweight: Orion Cosce vs. Gilbert Urbina
Welterweight: Takahasi Sato vs. Themba Gorimbo
Flyweight: Steve Erceg vs. Clayton Carpenter
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