By TXMMA Staff
155 Champion Anthony Pettis defends against top contender Rafael dos Anjos; Carla Esparza makes first title defense of her own vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk
DALLAS, TX – The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the lone state with UFC 185: Pettis vs. dos Anjos taking place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas this Saturday, March 14th. This event will be the third UFC event hosted in Dallas following UFC 171 last year along with UFC 103 back in September 2009.
UFC 185 is headlined by UFC lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis taking on top contender Rafael dos Anjos. Also on the line at UFC 185 is the UFC Women’s Strawweight Title with incumbent champion Carla Esparza taking on Europe’s Joanna Jędrzejczyk.
Also set to return on the card is former welterweight champ Johny Hendricks as he takes on Matt Brown while heavyweight Alistair Overeem takes on Roy Nelson. A flyweight bout featuring US Olympian Henry Cejudo taking on Chris Cariaso completes the PPV card.
Texas MMA fighters also set to do battle in front of home state crowd
Aside from the championship bouts and obviously Johny Hendricks fighting in front of a hometown crowd being that he trains with Team Takedown over in Arlington, a bevy of other Texas fighters are set to appear at UFC 185 as well.
Let’s take a look at some of them in further detail:
Roger Narvaez (7-1, FCFA) – A middleweight fighting out of Corpus Christi, “Big Roger” aka “The Silverback” made his UFC as a late replacement in the light heavyweight division taking on Patrick Cummins at UFC FN 42. He would suffer his first career loss in that bout but came back strong, beating the UK’s Luke Barnatt by split decision at UFC FN 57 in Austin. He’ll be back this time taking on Canadian Elias Theodorou, winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): “Nations.” Roger will enjoy a two height advantage in this bout against Theodorou. The Canadian meanwhile is a highly touted prospect but has not been tested against a well-rounded fighter who can both strike and grapple like Roger Narvaez can. Expect this to be a close fight but if Roger’s fight versus the 6’6″ Barnatt is of any indication, his second UFC win could very much be in reach.
Jared Rosholt (11-2, Team Takedown) – A teammate of Johny Hendricks, “The Big Show” was also a fellow Oklahoma State wrestler and 3x All-American before transitioning to MMA. Since then he’s experienced much success including winning 3 out of his first 4 UFC bouts. He’ll look to resume his winning ways against Denver’s “Cuddly Bear” Josh Copeland (9-1). The Colorado native won his first 9 career bouts before dropping a decision to Russian grappler Ruslan Magomedov. While Copeland could prove to be a test, look for Rosholt to dominate the mat exchanges and takedowns en route to a decision victory in this one.
Ryan Benoit (7-3, Janjira Muay Thai) – “Babyface” may be the first Texan set to compete at UFC 185 as part of the Fight Pass Prelims but he’s also the one with potentially the most exciting fight of the night in front of him as he takes on Sergio Pettis in a flyweight bout. Those of our readers that follow MMA closely may note that Pettis has victories over 2 Texans already, beating both Matt Hobar and Will Campuzano by decision. Benoit is a different fighter than those 2 stylistically though and could prove to be a different type of challenge given his boxing and Muay Thai style coupled with impressive scrambling ability in the grappling portion of the fight. Ryan won $100,000 in bonus money in his UFC debut versus Josh Sampo. Given this matchup with Pettis, the result should be exciting once again and the result could be another bonus check, this time in front of his hometown.
UFC 185 – Complete Fight Card
Here is the complete UFC 185 fight card set for Dallas below. Make sure to tune in on PPV and watch our Texas-based fighters do work.
UFC 185 Main Card (PPV)
- Anthony Pettis (18-2) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (23-7)
- Carla Esparza (10-2) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (8-0)
- Johny Hendricks (16-3) vs. Matt Brown (19-12)
- Roy Nelson (20-10) vs. Alistair Overeem (38-14)
- Chris Cariaso (17-6) vs. Henry Cejudo (7-0)
UFC 185 Prelims (FX)
- Ross Pearson (16-8) vs. Sam Stout (20-10-1)
- Elias Theodorou (10-0) vs. Roger Narvaez (7-1)
- Daron Cruickshank (16-5, 1 NC) vs. Beneil Dariush (9-1)
- Jared Rosholt (11-2) vs. Josh Copeland (9-1)
UFC 185 Prelims (UFC Fight Pass)
- Sergio Pettis (12-1) vs. Ryan Benoit (7-3)
- Jake Lindsey (9-2) vs. Joe Duffy (12-1)
- Germaine de Randamie (4-3) vs. Larissa Pacheco (10-1)