Inside UFC 245: What Are the Stakes Of A Fight Card This Big?

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Big time fight cards have the ability to propel fighters into the next stratosphere.

Whether it’s a career defining performance that culminates in a world title or a shot at breaking into the divisional rankings, the outcome of any particular UFC event can push fighters forward. The results can also be detrimental to the development of fighters hoping to advance their careers, and on December 14 at UFC 245, a handful of fighters have the opportunity to make major waves in the Octagon.

It goes without saying that the highest stakes begin at the top of the fight card. Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman puts his title on the line against bitter rival Colby Covington, while featherweight king Max Holloway attempts to defend his belt against challenger Alexander Volkanovski. Dual champ Amanda Nunes is also fighting to retain her title, taking on Germaine de Randamie.

These three title fights, which go down on the UFC 245 PPV main card on ESPN+, have the highest stakes possible in the world of prize fighting. But what about the rest of the card? What else is at stake at UFC 245?

The Next Bantamweight Challenger

Opening up the UFC 245 Pay Per View on ESPN+ are a pair of highly contested bantamweight fights between ranked fighters, former champions and challengers among them.

With Peter Yan taking on UFC hall of famer Urijah Faber to kick off the PPV main card, and former featherweight king Jose Aldo making his bantamweight debut against number-one contender Marlon Moraes, the stakes are high, as all four fighters seek the next shot at champion Henry Cejudo and the title.


What’s important to look out for here is action, and a finish. If any of these four fighters is to distinguish themselves in the jam-packed bantamweight division, they’ll need to deliver at UFC 245. And, they’ll need to win via impressive stoppage.

The stakes are high for every single fight on the UFC 245 PPV on ESPN+.

Winner Gets Nunes

Dual champ Amanda Nunes has already solidified herself as one of the most dominant fighters on the UFC roster, but beyond her UFC 245 title fight, what will Nunes do next?

Having nearly cleared out the bantamweight division (not to mention the featherweight division), Nunes is far ahead of the competition, and it’s unclear who she might fight next should she beat de Randamie on the UFC 245 PPV main card on ESPN+.

Sure, there are a few options out there, but none more intriguing than Ketlen Vieira, an undefeated Brazilian who is takes on Mexico’s Irene Aldana at UFC 245.

Vieira is already 4-0 inside the Octagon and ranked second in the bantamweight division, but her momentum has been slowed by injuries, which have forced her out of competition for the last 21 months. This fight against Aldana, who is ranked tenth, could certainly set up a title shot against Nunes.


Fighting For Flyweight Relevance

Right now, it’s really unclear what is going on in the flyweight division.

With rumors that the division was to be shuttered earlier this year, champion Henry Cejudo saved his flyweight peers by defending his title on the debut UFC on ESPN+ card in January. But since then, Cejudo has moved up to bantamweight, won a second title, and sat on the sidelines due to injury.

Still uncertain if Cejudo intends to drop back down to flyweight and fight number-one contender Joseph Benavidez, the flyweight division has become stagnant. However, there still are a few fighters within in the division trying to solidify their positions, just in case Cejudo opts to remain at bantamweight. Kai Kara-France and Brandon Moreno fall into this category.

Sixth-ranked Kara-France, who is undefeated in the UFC, trains with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and has already stated his intention to make a quick turnaround and fight in New Zealand in February. However, a win over Moreno would push his record 4-0, and it would be tough to ignore him as a potential title challenger.

For fifth-ranked Moreno, who is 3-2-1 inside the Octagon, the path to a title shot is not as clear, but a win over a ranked opponent like Kara-France will help him trend in the right direction.


Just Hoping to Keep Their Jobs?

Not all stakes are equal, and while some fighters are positioning for rankings, others are just hoping to keep their jobs with the UFC.

Nearing the end of their respective careers, welterweights Matt Brown and Ben Saunders are UFC veterans with some impressive finishes and performances to their credit.

Both fighters, who were cast members on The Ultimate Fighter, have become fan favorites over the years, dishing out violence and sinking in complex jiu jitsu moves. Still, it’s impossible to ignore that Brown and Saunders are in their late thirties and nearing the end of their runs in the UFC.

For Saunders in particular, a win at UFC 245 is imperative. Having lost three straight, all by finish, Saunders can’t afford to suffer another consecutive stoppage loss. It doesn’t help that he’s facing Brown, who has finished 90-percent of his professional MMA fights.


The UFC 245 PPV main card on ESPN+ begins at 7 p.m. PST / 10 p.m. EST.

UFC 245 PPV main card (ESPN+)
Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington – UFC welterweight title fight
Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski – UFC featherweight title fight
Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie – UFC bantamweight title fight
Jose Aldo vs. Marlon Moraes
Urijah Faber vs. Petr Yan

UFC 245 Preliminaries (ESPN 2) 5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST
Mike Perry vs. Geoff Neal
Ketlen Vieira vs. Irene Aldana
Matt Brown vs. Ben Saunders
Ian Heinisch vs. Omari Akhmedov

UFC 245 Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass) 1:30 p.m. PST / 4:30 p.m. EST
Chase Hooper vs. David Teymur
Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France
Jessica Eye vs. Viviane Araujo
Punahele Soriano vs. Oskar Piechota

*Fight Card Subject to Change


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