Ascending Young Prospects Headline UFC Memorial Day Weekend Card in Las Vegas as Thomas Almeida Clashes with Cody Garbrandt


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LAS VEGAS (March 28, 2016) – Two of the hottest rising stars in mixed martial arts will take center stage in Las Vegas Memorial Day Weekend as No. 7 Thomas Almeida meets No. 15 Cody Garbrandt in a bantamweight showdown. The co-main event features former bantamweight champion Renan Barao making his featherweight debut against No. 9 Jeremy Stephens. UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: ALMEIDA vs. GARBRANDT takes place Sunday, May 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
In a battle of two undefeated stars under the age of 25, the always dangerous, No. 7 Almeida (21-0, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) possesses the tools to end the fight in the blink of an eye. Fourteen of his last 15 contests have ended by way of knockout, including three straight. An impressive showing in this fight will put him among the elite at 135 pounds. Looking to end the Brazilian’s night just as fast is No. 15 Garbrandt (8-0, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.), who utilizes his boxing background to unleash ferocious strikes upon his opposition. Coming off a first-round knockout in his last outing, the seventh knockout of his career, the 24-year-old phenom hopes to continue his run through the bantamweight gauntlet.
Former UFC bantamweight world champion and current No. 4 bantamweight Barao (35-3, 1NC, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) will bring his championship pedigree and experience to his featherweight debut when he clashes with No. 9 Stephens (24-12, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.). Barao will need to utilize his multifaceted skillset to handle the aggressive and heavy-handed striking of Stephens, who jumps at the chance to face the best. With a win over current lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos already under his belt, Stephens looks to send Barao back to the drawing board.
Plus, with 21 knockouts and 13 first-round finishes between them, hard-hitting welterweights Jorge Masvidal (29-10, fighting out of Miami, Fla.) and Lorenz Larkin (16-5, 1 NC, fighting out of Riverside, Calif.) meet in an early Fight of the Night contender. Masvidal, winner of seven of his last 10, always shows heart in the midst of battle. With close to 40 fights in his career, Masvidal uses experience and tenacity to power through any situation for the win. Larkin has seen a career resurgence since dropping to 170-pounds and holds a win over current UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in a middleweight contest.
Additional bouts include:

  • Seasoned veteran Joshua Burkman (29-12, 1NC, fighting out of Draper, Utah) collides with striking sensation Paul Felder (11-2, fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn.) in a lightweight bout.
  • Belgian striker, No.10 Tarec Saffiedine (16-4, fighting out of Brussels, Belgium) clashes with powerful wrestler, No. 11 Rick Story (18-8, fighting out of Vancouver, Wash.) in a 170-pound showdown.
  • Olympic freestyle wrestler, No. 6 Sara McMann (8-3, fighting out of Gaffney, S.C.) meets gritty No. 7 Jessica Eye (11-4, 1 NC, fighting out of Cleveland, Ohio) in a women’s bantamweight tilt.
  • Dynamic lightweights Abel Trujillo (14-6, 1NC, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla.) and Diego Ferreira (12-2, fighting out of Pharr, TX) meet in a bout not likely to see the third round.
  • Two middleweights coming off impressive knockouts in their last bout meet as Chris Camozzi (23-10, fighting out of Lakewood, Colo.) clashes with Vitor Miranda (13-4, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
  • Erik Koch (14-4, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wis.) makes his highly anticipated return to the Octagon® against submission specialist Joe Proctor (11-4, fighting out of Bridgewater, Mass.) in a lightweight bout.
  • Rangy striker Jake Collier (9-2, fighting out of Cuba, Mo.) meets well-rounded grappler Keith Berish (5-0, 1 NC, fighting out of Kingston, N.Y.) at 185 pounds.
  • Versatile finisher Chris De La Rocha (4-1, fighting out of Washougal, Wash.) meets debuting knockout artist Adam Milstead (7-1, fighting out of Beaver Falls, Pa.) in a heavyweight bout.
For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit All bouts live and subject to change.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: ALMEIDA vs. GARBRANDT will air live on FS1 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 29, with the prelims kicking off the evening on FS1 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and on UFC FIGHT PASS® at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.
Visit the UFC® Press Portal for information and content to support your UFC coverage.
Tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: ALMEIDA vs. GARBRANDT go on sale Friday, April 1 at 10 a.m. PT and are priced at $175, $125, $75 and $50. Tickets are available for purchase at Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office. Ticket prices do not include applicable service charges.
UFC Fight Club® members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Wednesday, March 30 at 10 a.m. PT via the website A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Thursday, March 31 starting at 10 a.m. PT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through

About UFC®
UFC® is a premium global sports brand and the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. Headquartered in Las Vegas with offices in London, Toronto, Sao Paulo and Singapore, UFC produces more than 40 live events annually that consistently sell out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe. UFC programming is broadcast in over 150 countries and territories to more than one billion TV households worldwide in 21 different languages. UFC FIGHT PASS®, a digital subscription service, delivers exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content to fans around the world. For more information, visit and follow UFC at and Instagram: @UFC.

About Mandalay Bay
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is a unique destination resort set on 120 lush acres on the Las Vegas Strip. The resort offers three distinct hotel experiences: Mandalay Bay with 3,211 luxurious rooms and suites reflecting a modern tropical ambiance; Four Seasons Hotel, a AAA Five Diamond hotel offering 424 newly remodeled rooms and suites; and the luxury all-suite Delano Las Vegas that debuted September 2014. Mandalay Bay boasts an 11-acre tropical pool paradise featuring real sand, a wave pool, the only climate-controlled, poolside gaming in the city and DAYLIGHT Beach Club. Other resort highlights include world-class entertainment at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center, award-winning dining by celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, LIGHT Nightclub, Shark Reef Aquarium, Spa Mandalay and the recently expanded 2-million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Mandalay Bay also is home to Michael Jackson ONE, Cirque du Soleil’s latest resident production based on the music and choreography of the King of Pop.  Mandalay Bay is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM).  For more information and reservations, visit, call toll free at (877) 632-7800 or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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