TOP RANKED LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS

(#3) MAGOMED ANKALAEV AND (#7) JOHNNY WALKER BATTLE IN UFC APEX MAIN EVENT

 
 

FEATURED BOUT: 

JIM MILLER vs. GABRIEL BENITEZ 

 

Las Vegas – UFC® kicks off 2024 at UFC APEX with an action-packed rematch featuring No. 3 ranked light heavyweight contender Magomed Ankalaev and No. 7 Johnny Walker. In addition, an intriguing matchup in the lightweight division sees Jim Miller take on Gabriel Benitez. 

 

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: ANKALAEV vs. WALKER takes place Saturday, January 13 in Las Vegas and will be available exclusively on ESPN+ (English and Spanish). The prelims will start at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, followed by the main card at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. 

 

Ankalaev (17-1-1 1NC, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) sets out with the intention of delivering a statement performance. An International Master of Sport in Amateur MMA and Master of Sport in Combat Sambo, Ankalaev has delivered dominant wins against Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, and Volkan Oezdemir. Now slated to rematch Walker, Ankalaev plans on leaving no doubt that he is one of the best light heavyweights in the world. 

 

Walker (21-7, fighting out of Dublin, Ireland by way of Rio das Ostras, Brazil) returns to action seeking redemption from his last outing against Ankalaev. His impressive resume contains highlight reel finishes over top ranked contenders Paul Craig, Ion Cutelaba, and Ryan Spann. The always exciting Walker now looks to get pass Ankalaev in emphatic fashion and make his case for a title shot in 2024.

 

Octagon veteran Miller (36-17 1NC, fighting out of Sparta, N.J.) is a UFC record holder for most fights (42) and most wins (25) in company history, Miller’s legendary career has seen him defeat the likes of Donald Cerrone, Joe Lauzon, and former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. He now aims to kick off the year with a strong performance over Benitez. 

 

Benitez (23-11, fighting out of Tijuana, Baja, Mexico) finally makes his return to competition. A versatile competitor, he’s entertained fight fans with memorable knockouts against Charlie Ontiveros, Justin Jaynes, and Humberto Bandenay. Benitez now looks to secure the biggest win of his career by making his name off Miller.  

Additional bouts on the card include: 

 

  • A high-stakes flyweight matchup pits No. 6 Matheus Nicolau (19-4-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) against No. 8 Manel Kape (19-6, fighting out of Phuket, Thailand by way of Porto, Portugal) 
  • Featherweights Gabriel Santos (10-2, fighting out of Curitiba, Parana, Brazil) and Westin Wilson (16-8, fighting out of Curitiba, Parana, Brazil) collide
  • No. 3 ranked bantamweight Ketlen Vieira (14-3, fighting out of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil) squares off with No. 9 Macy Chiasson (9-3, fighting out of Dallas, Texas by way of New Orleans, La.)
  • A pivotal bantamweight bout sees No. 7 ranked contender Yana Santos (14-8, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Saint Petersburg, Russia) compete against No. 10 Norma Dumont (10-2, fighting out of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil)
  • Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (34-23, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) takes on Waldo Cortes Acosta (10-1, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz. by way of Fundacion, Barahona, Dominican Republic)
  • Bantamweights Farid Basharat (11-0, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev. by way of Paktia, Afghanistan) and Taylor Lapilus (19-3, fighting out of) look to steal the show
  • Bassil Hafez (8-4-1, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) collides with Preston Parsons (10-4, fighting out of Jacksonville Beach, Fla.) at welterweight
  • An action-packed middleweight bout features Phil Hawes (12-5, fighting out of North Bergen, N.J. by way of Deerfield Beach, Fla.) and Brunno Ferreira (10-1, fighting out of Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil) is scheduled for the APEX
  • Highly skilled bantamweights Ricky Simon (20-4, fighting out of Vancouver, Wash.) and Mario Bautista (13-2, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) clash
  • Felipe Bunes (13-6, fighting out of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte Brazil) makes his UFC debut against Ukraine’s Denys Bondar (16-5, fighting out of Kharkiv, Ukraine) at flyweight
  • An intriguing bantamweight bout sees Marcus McGhee (8-1, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) take on Gaston Bolanos (7-3, fighting out of Dublin, Calif. by way of Lima, Peru)

 

For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts are live and subject to change. Please click here to apply for the event. 

 

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