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The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship card on ESPN has undergone some late-notice changes.
On Thursday, the promotion issued a press release for the updated lineup of UFC on ESPN 15, which will go down on Aug. 22 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Headlining the event is still an all-action bantamweight battle as Pedro Munhoz (18-4, 1 NC) tries to ruin the 135-pound debut of Frankie Edgar (23-8-1). Other than the headliner, a slew of fights previously scheduled for the card have either been altered or postponed. Both main card matches of Yoel Romero vs. Uriah Hall at middleweight and Michelle Waterson vs. Angela Hill at strawweight have been changed when fighters withdrew – although Waterson-Hill has reportedly been re-booked for Sept. 12, according to BJPenn.com.
Munoz will be looking to rebound from a decision loss to presumptive bantamweight title challenger Aljamain Sterling in June 2019. The defeat snapped a three-fight win streak which saw “The Young Punisher” punish Cody Garbrandt and Bryan Caraway in the first round with strikes. Sporting a solid finish rate of 72 percent with half of his wins coming by tapout, the Brazilian has never been stopped as a professional.
Edgar’s initial intent to drop down to 135 pounds was put on hold when he stepped in on short notice to take on Chan Sung Jung in December. Although “The Answer” saved the headliner match, he suffered a first-round knockout at the hands of “The Korean Zombie.” The defeat put the former lightweight king on just the second losing skid of his career, which re-initiated Edgar’s desire to drop down in weight. Throughout his future Hall of Fame career, Edgar holds wins over a litany of names including B.J. Penn, Urijah Faber, Charles Oliveira and Gray Maynard.
Drawing the co-main assignment is Ovince St. Preux’s return to 205 pounds against Alonzo Menifield after an ill-suited shift to heavyweight against Ben Rothwell in May. St. Preux was originally booked against Shamil Gamzatov, and no reason was given for the change in opponent. Although the fight against Rothwell a competitive one, St. Preux (24-14) dropped a split verdict to “Big Ben” to make him change his mind about a career in the highest division, for now. With a 5-5 record in his last 10 bouts, “OSP” has finished each of his opponents in victory. Facing him will be Menifield (9-1), who will be hoping to make his first career defeat a one-off. On the wrong end of a decision to Devin Clark in June to halt his undefeated record, all nine of the Texas native’s triumphs have come within two rounds.
Other changes on the card include the re-booking of Timur Valiev (16-2), who was forced to pull out of his UFC Fight Night 173 match against Jamall Emmers for visa issues. Valiev will be taking on fellow debutant Mark Striegl (18-2, 1 NC) of the Philippines at bantamweight. On the card opener, Matt Semelsberger (6-2) greets Carlton Minus (10-1, 1 NC) in a battle of 170-pound UFC newcomers – Semelsberger was originally slated to meet Philip Rowe, but Rowe suffered a broken toe in training and was forced out.
Although previously announced after recent episode of Dana White's Contender Series, the middleweight contest between Maki Pitolo (13-6) and the newly signed Impa Kasanganay (7-0) was not listed on the UFC’s official bout lineup sheet.
The main card of UFC on ESPN 15 will be simulcast on ESPN and ESPN+ at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 22. The prelims will be shown exclusively on ESPN+ at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT.
UFC on ESPN 15 Official LineupFrankie Edgar vs. Pedro Munhoz – bantamweight
Ovince St. Preux vs. Alonzo Menifield – light heavyweight
Mike Rodriguez vs. Marcin Prachnio – light heavyweight
Takashi Sato vs. Daniel Rodriguez – welterweight
Mizuki Inoue vs. Amanda Lemos – strawweight
Mariya Agapova vs. Shana Dobson – flyweight
Austin Hubbard vs. Joe Solecki – lightweight
Dwight Grant vs. Jared Gooden – welterweight
Jorge Gonzalez vs. Isaac Villanueva – light heavyweight
Timur Valiev vs. Mark Striegl – bantamweight
Matt Semelsberger vs. Carlton Minus – welterweight