Esparza-Waterson, Luque-Brown Added To UFC Portland
Several key matchups have been added to UFC Portland, set to take place on April 11, including an important strawweight and welterweight bout. Following UFC 237, it was announced that Carla Esparza will face off against Michelle Waterson. Another bout announced was Vicente Luque v. Randy Brown.
This will be Waterson’s (17-7) first fight back since losing to Joanna Jędrzejczyk back in October via unanimous decision. That fight forced “The Karate Hottie” out of contendership, as Joanna will now face off against Weili Zhang for the UFC Strawweight Championship. Prior to that fight, the 34-year-old was on a three-fight win streak, beating opponents like Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Felice Herrig and Cortney Casey, all via decision.
Esparza (15-6) is looking to be a title contender of her own. She has won two fights in a row, beating Virna Jandiroba via unanimous decision back in April and Alexa Grasso back in September via majority decision. The 32-year-old is the first UFC Strawweight Champion, beating Rose Namajunas for the title back in 2015. She later lost it to the aforementioned Jędrzejczyk at UFC 185. Since that fight is is 5-3 in her last eight.
On the other side of the card, Randy Brown (12-3) is looking for his third win in a row. The 29-year-old last fought back in 2019, beating Warley Alves via submission. He is 3-1 in his last four fights. Brown faces a multiple-time “Performance of the Night” winner in Luque (17-7-1), who is coming off of a unanimous decision loss to Stephen Thompson back in November at UFC 244. Prior to that, Luque was on a six-fight win streak. He is 10-2 in his last twelve fights.
Other fights added to the card include:
– Tristan Connelly (14-6) v. Alex da Silva (21-2)
– Julia Avila (7-1) v. Karol Rosa (12-3)
– Alessio Di Chirico (12-4) v. Abu Azaitar (14-2-1)
– Dontale Mayes (8-3) v. Rodrigo Nascimento
UFC Portland takes place inside the Moda Center. The scheduled headliner is the returning Walt Harris facing Alistair Overeem.