UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris

UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris
Information
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateMay 16, 2020 (2020-05-16)
VenueVyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
CityJacksonville, Florida, United States
AttendanceNone (behind closed doors)[1]
Event chronology
UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris UFC Fight Night 176

UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris (also known as UFC on ESPN 8) was a mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that took place on May 16, 2020, at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, United States.[2] It was originally planned to take place as a Fight Night on ESPN+ at Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.[3] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UFC president Dana White announced on April 9 that starting with UFC 249, all future events were indefinitely postponed (see section below).[4] On April 24 the event was confirmed for Jacksonville on its original date.[2]

Background

While not officially announced by the organization, the promotion was targeting a lightweight bout between former interim UFC Lightweight Champion Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker to serve as the event headliner.[5] However, it was reported on April 8 that the main event was expected to be a heavyweight bout between the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion and UFC Heavyweight Championship challenger Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris.[6] The pairing was previously scheduled to headline UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Rozenstruik on December 7, 2019, but Harris pulled out of the fight in early November, citing the disappearance and death of his stepdaughter in her home state of Alabama.[7][8] They were later booked to headline UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris on April 11 but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[9]

Punahele Soriano was expected to face Anthony Hernandez at the event. However, Soriano pulled out due to undisclosed reasons. Hernandez will instead face Kevin Holland.[10]

Due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, some Brazilian fighters were unable to compete due to visa issues at the original event – Lara Procópio (who was expected to face Cortney Casey in a women's flyweight bout), former KSW Women's Flyweight Champion Ariane Lipski and Luana Carolina (who were expected to meet at the same weight).[11]

COVID-19 pandemic

The event was originally expected to take place at Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.[3] On April 2, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, the division of the state government that includes the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), extended a ban on combat sports events through the end of May due to the coronavirus pandemic, making the venue unable to host the fight card.[12] The event was officially removed from California on April 20.[13] On April 24, the UFC confirmed the new UFC 249 for May 9 in Jacksonville, Florida, along with two other events on May 13 and 16 for the same location.[2]

The UFC confirmed on May 1 that Overeem and Harris would headline this event and to be broadcast on ESPN.[14] Additionally, the event included fighters that were pulled from other events previously cancelled, as well as the following bouts:[14]

Some fights that were originally expected to take place at this event on its first booking, but will be rescheduled for future cards include a flyweight bout between Alex Perez and Kai Kara-France, as well as a featherweight bout between Jared Gordon and Matt Sayles.[15][16]

Mike Davis was scheduled to face Giga Chikadze at the event. However, Davis was removed from the card on May 14 and replaced by promotional newcomer Irwin Rivera.[17]

Results

Main Card (ESPN)
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Heavyweight Alistair Overeem def. Walt Harris TKO (punches) 2 3:00
Women’s Strawweight Cláudia Gadelha def. Angela Hill Decision (split) (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) 3 5:00
Featherweight Dan Ige def. Edson Barboza Decision (split) (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) 3 5:00
Middleweight Krzysztof Jotko def. Eryk Anders Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) 3 5:00
Featherweight Song Yadong def. Marlon Vera Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) 3 5:00
Preliminary Card (ESPN/ESPN+)
Welterweight Miguel Baeza def. Matt Brown TKO (punches) 2 0:18
Middleweight Kevin Holland def. Anthony Hernandez TKO (knees and punches) 1 0:39
Featherweight Giga Chikadze def. Irwin Rivera Decision (unanimous) (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) 3 5:00
Featherweight Nate Landwehr def. Darren Elkins Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) 3 5:00
Women's Flyweight Cortney Casey def. Mara Romero Borella Submission (armbar) 1 3:36
Heavyweight Rodrigo Nascimento def. Don’Tale Mayes Submission (rear-naked choke) 2 2:05

Bonus awards

The following fighters received $50,000 bonuses.[18]

  • Fight of the Night: Song Yadong vs. Marlon Vera
  • Performance of the Night: Miguel Baeza and Cortney Casey

See also

References

  1. ^ Clayton Freeman (2020-05-16). "UFC completes week in Jacksonville with fights Saturday". jacksonville.com. Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  2. ^ a b c Brett Okamoto (2020-04-24). "UFC schedules three fight cards, led by UFC 249 on May 9 in Florida with no fans". espn.com. Retrieved 2020-04-24.
  3. ^ a b Nolan King and Mike Bohn (2020-03-06). "Alex Perez vs. Kai Kara-France booked for flyweight fight at UFC San Diego". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  4. ^ Damon Martin (2020-04-09). "UFC 249, upcoming events postponed due to coronavirus pandemic, Dana White promises 'Fight Island' will proceed". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  5. ^ Mike Bohn (2020-03-04). "Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker in the works for UFC San Diego main event". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  6. ^ Damon Martin (2020-04-09). "Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris rescheduled for UFC Fight Night on May 16". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  7. ^ Mike Bohn (2019-11-01). "Walt Harris withdraws from UFC on ESPN 7 headliner vs. Alistair Overeem". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  8. ^ Adam Guillen Jr. (2019-11-27). "Aniah Blanchard confirmed dead following autopsy report". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  9. ^ Nolan King and John Morgan (2020-03-15). "UFC postpones three events amid growing coronavirus outbreak". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  10. ^ Mike Bohn (2020-04-09). "Kevin Holland replaces Puna Soriano, meets Anthony Hernandez on UFC's May 16 card". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  11. ^ Staff (2020-04-09). "Jose Aldo among Brazilians out of UFC 250 and beyond because of visa issues during pandemic". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  12. ^ Dave Doyle (2020-04-02). "Coronavirus causes California to cancel combat sports events through May". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  13. ^ Steven Marrocco (2020-04-20). "UFC officially cancels four events due to coronavirus pandemic". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  14. ^ a b Nolan King (2020-05-01). "Dana White announces full list of UFC matchups for May 13, May 16 events in Florida". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  15. ^ Nolan King and Mike Bohn (2020-03-06). "Alex Perez vs. Kai Kara-France booked for flyweight fight at UFC San Diego". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  16. ^ Nolan King (2020-03-15). "Jared Gordon vs. Matt Sayles booked for UFC San Diego". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  17. ^ Mike Heck and Damon Martin (2020-05-14). "With Mike Davis out, Giga Chikadze welcomes newcomer Irwin Rivera at Saturday's UFC on ESPN 8 event". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  18. ^ Jay Anderson (2020-05-17). "UFC on ESPN 8 Bonuses: Cortney Casey, Miguel Baeza Rewarded for Big Finishes". cagesidepress.com. Retrieved 2020-05-17.

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