Top 10 Middleweights Collide at UFC Apex




UFC® returns to UFC APEX with a critical matchup in the stacked middleweight division, as No. 3 ranked contender Jared Cannonier collides with No. 9 Kelvin Gastelum. In the co-main event, relentless grapplers lock horns as Clay Guida meets Mark O. Madsen.


UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: CANNONIER vs GASTELUM will take place Saturday, August 21 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. All bouts will stream on ESPN+, with the prelims airing on ESPN2 beginning at 4 p.m. PT/ 7 p.m. ET and the main card airing on ESPN at 7 p.m. PT/ 10 p.m. ET.


Former heavyweight and light heavyweight Cannonier (13-5, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) returns to the Octagon after almost a year out of action looking to secure another signature knockout win. After debuting in the UFC middleweight division in 2018, Cannonier established himself as a top contender with three straight finishes over David Branch, Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson. He now intends to become the first person to knock Gastelum out and reinsert himself into the championship conversation.


Gastelum (17-7, 1 NC fighting out of Yuma, Ariz.) has his sights set on breaking back into the top five of the division with a devastating performance. The youngest winner of The Ultimate Fighter, he has been a standout member of the UFC roster since joining in 2013, with notable victories over former UFC champions Johny Hendricks and Michael Bisping. Gastelum now seeks to prove that he is still one of the elite by taking out Cannonier.


UFC Hall of Famer and fan favorite Guida (36-17, fighting out of Johnsburg, Ill.) aims to stay unbeaten in 2021 as he competes in his 31st UFC bout. The lightweight record holder for control time and top position time, Guida’s legendary cardio and non-stop fighting style have earned him impressive wins over former UFC champions B.J. Penn, Anthony Pettis and Rafael Dos Anjos. He now plans to hand Madsen his first career loss in classic fashion.


Madsen (10-0, fighting out of Maribo, Denmark by way of Nykøbing Falster, Denmark) looks to extend his undefeated streak and notch the biggest victory of his MMA career. An Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling, he has showed off his well-rounded skillset by securing three wins by knockout and three via submission, including his first-round UFC debut win over Danilo Belluardo. Madsen now aims to make a case to break into the top 15 by finishing Guida.


Additional bouts on the card include:

  • Heavyweight strikers Parker Porter (11-6, fighting out of West Hartford, Conn.) and Chase Sherman (15-7, fighting out of D’lberville, Miss.) look to steal the show
  • A gritty matchup in the lightweight division sees Vinc Pichel (13-2, fighting out of Simi Valley, Calif.) take on Austin Hubbard (13-5, fighting out of Denver, Colo.)
  • Top 10 flyweights clash as No. 3 contender Alexandre Pantoja (23-5, fighting out of Arraial Do Cabo, Brazil) battles No. 6 Brandon Royval (12-5, fighting out of Lakewood, Colo.)
  • Featherweights Austin Lingo (8-1, fighting out of Mesquite, Texas) and Luis Saldana (15-6, fighting out of Glendale, Ariz.) intend to deliver statement-making performances
  • Brian Kelleher (22-12, fighting out of Selden, N.Y.) and Domingo Pilarte (9-2, 1 NC, fighting out of Houston, Texas) collide in a matchup of bantamweight finishers
  • The Ultimate Fighter alum Bea Malecki (4-0, fighting out of Stockholm, Sweden) aims to stay undefeated in the UFC when she locks horns with newcomer Josiane Nunes (7-1, fighting out of Gralha Azul, Parana, Brazil)
  • William Knight (9-2, fighting out of Vernon, Conn.) takes on Fabio Cherant (7-2, fighting out of Wrentham, Mass.) in a light heavyweight bout
  • Dana White’s Contender Series veterans Roosevelt Roberts (11-2, 1 NC, fighting out of San Bernardino, Calif.) and Ignacio Bahamondes (11-4, fighting out of Itasca, Ill.) seek to show off their skills at lightweight
  • Exciting bantamweights vie for a post-fight bonus as Mana Martinez (8-2, fighting out of Houston, Texas) meets Trevin Jones (13-6 1 NC, fighting out of Inarajan, Guam)
  • Sasha Palatnikov (6-3, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev. by way of Hong Kong, China) looks to bounce back into the UFC win column when he faces Ramiz Brahimaj (8-3, fighting out of Dallas, Texas)


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About UFC®

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About ESPN
ESPN, the world’s leading sports entertainment brand, features eight U.S. television networks, direct-to-consumer ESPN+, ESPN Radio,, endeavors on every continent around the world, and more.  ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc. (an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) and 20 percent by Hearst.

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Top 10 Middleweights Collide at UFC Apex