By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
UFC 224 will take place on Saturday, May 12th, 2018 at 6:15 pm at the Juenesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is the UFC’s first event since June 3, 2017 at this venue for UFC 212.
Vitor Belfort will face Loyota Machida in Middleweight action. Belfort is 41-years-old and is 26-13-1 in his MMA career.
Belfort’s last win came via a unanimous decision at UFC 212 on June 3, 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In fact, Belfort’s last three bouts, including Saturday’s, have come in his homeland of Brazil.
He last lost to Gegard Mousasi by TKO (head kick and punches) at UFC 204 on October 8, 2016.
Machida, who is also from Brazil, is 39-years-old. He is 23-8 in his MMA career.
In his last bout, he defeated Eryk Anders via a split decision at UFC Fight Night on February 3, 2018 in Belém, Brazil. Prior to his win over Anders, he lost to Derek Brunson via KO (punches) at UFC Fight Night on October 28, 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil.
John Lineker and Brian Kelleher will throw hands in the second main event card in bantamweight action. Lineker, who was born in
Paranaguá, Paraná, Brazil, is 27-years-old. He also has a 30-8 in his MMA career.
Lineker won via unanimous decision over Marlon Vera at UFC Fight Night on October 28, 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil. Prior to his win over Vera, he lost to TJ Dillashaw via unanimous decision at UFC 207 on December 30th, 2016.
Kelleher, a New York native, is 31-years-old. He is 19-8 in his MMA career.
He is on a two fight win streak, as he defeated Renan Barão via a unanimous decision at UFC on FOX: Emmett vs. Stephens on February 24, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. He also defeated Damian Stasiak via TKO (punches) at UFC Fight Night on October 21, 2017 in Gdańsk, Poland, where this fight was named the Fight of the Night.
He last lost to Vera via submission (armbar) at UFC on FOX: Weidman vs. Gastelum on July 22, 2017 in Uniondale, New York.
Mackenzie Dern and Amanda Cooper will face each other in a Women’s Catchweight bout. The fight will be at 123 pounds. Dern, the Arizona native, is 25-years-old. She is 6-0 in her MMA career.
She defeated Ashley Yoder via split decision at UFC 222 in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has won all six of her bouts since July 22, 2016 when she defeated Kenia Rosas via unanimous decision in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Cooper, the Michigan native, is 26-years-old. She is 3-3 in her MMA career.
She defeated Angela Magaña via TKO (punches) on December 2, 2017 in Detroit Michigan. Prior to the win over Magana, she lost via submission (rear-naked choke) to Cynthia Calvillo at UFC 209 on March 4, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ronaldo Souza will face Kelvin Gastelum in the middleweight co-main event. Souza, who is from
Vila Velha, Brazil, is 38-years-old. He is 25-5-1 in his MMA career.
Souza defeated Brunson via KO (head kick and punches) at UFC on Fox: Jacaré vs. Brunson 2 on January 27, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He last lost a bout against Robert Whittaker by TKO (head kick and punches) at UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Reis on April 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Gastelum, the California native, is 26-years-old. He is 14-3-1 in his MMA career.
He defeated Michael Bisping via KO (punches) on UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum on November 25, 2017 in Shanghai, China. Prior to his win over Bisping, his last loss came to Chris Weidman via submission (arm-triangle choke) at UFC on FOX: Weidman vs. Gastelum on July 22, 2017 in Uniondale, New York.
Amanda Nunes will close out the event with a Women’s Bantamweight bout with Raquel Pennington. This bout is for Nunes’ Women’s Bantamweight Championship.
Nunes, who was initially being considered with Cris Cyborg for this headliner, is 29-years-old. She is 15-4-1 in her MMA career.
Nunes, who was born in Brazil, is on a six fight win streak. During this streak, she has defeated Shayna Baszler, Sara McMann, Valentina Shevchenko, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, and again Shevchenko.
During this streak, four bouts were ended in the first-round with either a knockout or submission. Both fights with Shevchenko went the distance, as she won initially via a unanimous decision on March 5, 2016, then via a split decision on September 9, 2017.
She has not been defeated since losing to Cat Zingano at UFC 178 via TKO (elbows and punches) on September 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pennington, the Colorado native, is 29-years-old. She is 9-5 in her MMA career.
She is on a four fight win streak. During this streak, she has defeated Jéssica Andrade, Bethe Correia, Elizabeth Phillips, and Tate. Yet, she has not fought since her unanimous decision win over Tate at UFC 205 in November 12, 2016 in New York City, New York.
Prior to her win streak, she was last defeated by Holly Holm via split decision at UFC 184 on February 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
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