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KANAKO MURATA VS VIRNA JANDIROBA

It’s a preliminary card clash between strawweight hopefuls and former Invicta FC titleholders as Kanako Murata and Virna Jandiroba share the Octagon this weekend in Las Vegas.

The 27-year-old Murata made a statement in her UFC debut, sweeping the scorecards against divisional mainstay Randa Markos to earn her eighth straight win. A standout wrestler who was gifted a mask by Japanese legend (and her hero) Kazushi Sakuraba, the talented Murata could find herself on the fast track to contention if she’s able to secure a second straight UFC win on Saturday.

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Jandiroba won and successfully defended the Invicta FC strap before matriculating to the UFC with a 14-0 record, only to land on the wrong side of the scorecards against Carla Esparza in her debut. After rebounding with wins over Mallory Martin and Felice Herrig, “Carcara” dropped a close, entertaining decision to Mackenzie Dern last December.

Strawweight is easily the most competitive and deepest division on the female side, which ups the ante in competitive matchups like this one. If you like grappling, you’re not going to want to miss this fight.

KHAOS WILLIAMS VS MATTHEW SEMELSBERGER

Williams burst onto the scene last year, earning his first two wins in a combined 57 seconds, following up his blitzkrieg finish of Alex Morono with a blistering knockout of Abdul Razak Alhassan that was in the running Knockout of the Year. He hustled back into the Octagon a month later, dropping a decision to Michel Pereira in an oddly uneventful fight between two traditionally engaging combatants, and has likely been champing at the bit to get back in there and back in the win column ever since.

Semelsberger followed up a unanimous decision victory in his debut with a 16-second knockout of Jason Witt in his sophomore appearance earlier this year. Now 8-2 as a professional, the former NFL hopeful looks to continue building on his five-fight winning streak by turning back his toughest challenge to date this weekend at the UFC APEX.

While there are never any guarantees about how fights play out, there is a very real possibility that something electric transpires in this one, so unless you want to be the person that misses the highlight everyone is tweeting about, make sure you’re focused on the action from the second this one gets underway.


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