The UFC is all set to celebrate Mexican Independence Day with a special UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas, with a championship bout set to take center stage.
The women’s flyweight championship rematch between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko had already been reported as a done deal for the September 16 event, and UFC president Dana White officially confirmed the booking in a video posted to the UFC’s official social media channels.
“Mexico has always been a very important market to me since day one,” White began.
“I recently told everyone at a press conference that we had made a big mistake by not showcasing our world champions and Mexican talent on a Mexican holiday. So I went back to the office after the press conference, and I fixed that immediately.
“Saturday, September 16, we are headed to T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. We’re building the September 16 card as we speak, and the main event will be the new UFC flyweight champion and pride of Guadalajara, Alexa Grasso. She will face former champion, and the most dominant female flyweight of all time, Valentina Shevchenko in the rematch that everyone wants to see.”
White also announced a second matchup for the event, with undefeated 17-0 Kazakh contender Shavkat Rakhmonov set to take on former middleweight title challenger and winner of The Ultimate Fighter Kelvin Gastelum, who is making his return to the 170-pound division.
“The co-main event will be Shavkat Rakhmonov versus Kelvin Gastelum. How badass is that fight?!
“Rakhmonov is 17-0 with a 100 percent finish rate, and he will be facing Kelvin Gastelum, one of the most durable, toughest, gritty fighters in UFC history, and he is making the move back down to 170 pounds. This will be the toughest test of Shavkat’s career.
“I will keep making announcements as we continue to build this card. This fight on Mexican Independence Day is something that I’ve always wanted to do, so we are going to build the most incredible card for September 16. And what’s even better is that this is not a pay-per-view event. This will be on ESPN+, so if you have not already subscribed to ESPN+, do it right now.”