The UFC returns to New Mexico tonight for UFC Fight Night 167. It’s the first time in nearly six years that the promotion has brought the octagon to the state. The fighters in the headlining bout face a great deal of pressure following last week’s UFC 247 main event. In that bout, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones retained his title via a close unanimous decision over Dominick Reyes. The fight was close enough that Reyes could be in line for an immediate rematch. Which means the two men who are competing in the main event on the New Mexico card, Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz, need to deliver a memorable performance if the victor hopes to earn the next shot at Jones’ title. Anderson is the No. 5 ranked fighter in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings. Blachowicz checks in at No. 6.
This is the second time these two will meet. In the first fight, Anderson earned a unanimous decision. The first round of that contest was close, but the final 10 minutes of the bout belonged to Anderson. He used his wrestling skills to take Blachowicz to the mat and grind him down on the ground for the win.
Anderson’s game plan is still wrestling based, but he has shown in recent fights that he’s not afraid to use his striking. Anderson is coming off a first-round knockout win over the highly touted Johnny Walker. Blachowicz is coming off a split decision win over Ronaldo Souza.
UFC Fight Night 167 takes place at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The entire card streams on ESPN+.
Main Card (ESPN+, 8 PM ET)
Corey Anderson vs. Jan Błachowicz
Diego Sanchez vs. Michel Pereira
Montana De La Rosa vs. Mara Romero Borella
Brok Weaver vs. Kazula Vargas
Rogério Bontorin vs. Ray Borg
Lando Vannata vs. Yancy Medeiros
Preliminary card (ESPN+, 5 PM ET)
Tim Means vs. Daniel Rodriguez
John Dodson vs. Nathaniel Wood
Jim Miller vs. Scott Holtzman
Devin Clark vs. Dequan Townsend
Casey Kenney vs. Merab Dvalishvili
Macy Chiasson vs. Shanna Young
Mark De La Rosa vs. Raulian Paiva