But before de Randamie, a former UFC featherweight champ, and the 8-0 Ladd meet in the UFC Fight Night main event, there are several intriguing matchups, including the return of Hall of Famer Urijah Faber.
Here’s how they’re going down.
More like Mart-knee-nez.
Liu swarmed in with a combination, Martinez took a step forward and threw a straight knee and it landed on the button — Liu was out cold. The knockout finish came at 3:54 of the third round in a very close fight up until that point.
“I pretty much just picked my knee up,” Martinez said. “I just picked it up.”
Martinez (11-2) has won two straight now and four of five. The 25-year-old Texas resident is 2-1 in the UFC. Liu (15-5), a 26-year-old Chinese prospect, had won 10 in a row coming in.
Jonathan Martinez lands two big-time knees to Liu Pingyuan in their bantamweight fight. For more UFC, sign up here for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.
“The Bull” seems like a future factor in the UFC women’s strawweight division.
Van Buren dominated Souza in a battle of former Invicta FC women’s strawweight champions in a clear unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) victory. Van Buren landed heavy combinations in all three rounds, took Souza down in the third and looked like a well-rounded threat throughout.
Afterward, Van Buren, a Gilroy, Calif., native, called for a fight on the upcoming UFC card that will likely be in San Francisco in October.
“It would be stupid if you didn’t get me on that card,” Van Buren said. “I want a top-10. I know I’m asking for too much, so if you can give me whoever is willing to step up and fight me, let’s get the ball rolling.”
Van Buren (8-2) was making her debut after winning three fights in one night to become Invicta champion in May. The 25-year-old American Kickboxing Academy product has won five straight. Souza (13-2), the 28-year-old Brazilian, had won four in a row.
Brianna Van Buren lands a flurry of punches on Livinha Souza in their strawweight fight. For more UFC, sign up here for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.
Lopez’s strategy was clearly centered on leg kicks. And he executed.
Despite being dropped in the first round and being peppered with combinations, Lopez did enough for a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) win over Morales in a close bout. According to UFC stats, Lopez landed 36 leg kicks. Morales, meanwhile, out-landed Lopez 34-7 in strikes to the head.
Lopez (10-1) bounced back from a loss to Manny Bermudez last December with this victory. The 25-year-old Team Alpha Male product got chants of “Benito” — he was the hometown favorite. Morales (9-4), a 28-year-old Oregon native, has lost two of three in the UFC.
Vince Morales connects with a strong punch on Benito Lopez and then pounces on him after he hits the deck. For more UFC, sign up here for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.
Still to come:
Urijah Faber vs. Ricky Simon
Germaine de Randamie vs. Aspen Ladd