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UFC schedule 2023: Every major fight happening this year

Another year of UFC action is upon us, as fans anticipate Conor McGregor’s long-awaited return to the Octagon as well as some major title fights.

McGregor, who remains the face of the sport, has not competed since breaking his leg in July 2021 but is due to fight Michael Chandler this summer, though new stars have emerged elsewhere and will help to keep audiences engaged.

In one of the biggest fights of 2023, recently crowned lightweight champion Islam Makhachev will defend his title against featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski, with the pair scheduled to meet on the latter’s home turf in Australia in February. Furthermore, former pound-for-pound No 1 Kamaru Usman will try to regain the welterweight title from Leon Edwards, who dethroned the Nigerian-American with a stunning knockout in August 2022. The pair’s rematch – their third clash, in fact – is set to headline March’s London card, after Edwards’ title triumph made him just the second British UFC champion ever.

And we will finally see light-heavyweight ‘GOAT’ Jon Jones move up to heavyweight, as he fights Ciryl Gane for the championship vacated by Francis Ngannou, who has now left the UFC.

Here is every fight and event announced by the mixed martial arts promotion for the coming weeks and months (cards subject to change):

Saturday 8 April – UFC 287 – Miami-Dade Arena, Miami, US

Alex Pereira (left) secured a TKO win against Israel Adesanya in 2021 (Getty Images)
Alex Pereira (left) secured a TKO win against Israel Adesanya in 2021 (Getty Images)

Main card

Alex Pereira (C) vs Israel Adesanya 2 (middleweight title)

Gilbert Burns vs Jorge Masvidal (welterweight)

Rob Font vs Adrian Yanez (bantamweight)

Kevin Holland vs Santiago Ponzinibbio (welterweight)

Raul Rosas Jr vs Christian Rodriguez (bantamweight)

Prelims

Chris Curtis vs Kelvin Gastelum (middleweight)

Michael Chiesa vs Li Jingliang (welterweight)

Michelle Waterson-Gomez vs Luana Pinheiro (women’s strawweight)

Chris Barnett vs Chase Sherman (heavyweight)

Early prelims

Gerald Meerschaert vs Joe Pyfer (middleweight)

Cynthia Calvillo vs Loopy Godinez (women’s strawweight)

Ignacio Bahamondes vs Nikolas Motta (lightweight)

Shayilan Nuerdanbieke vs Steve Garcia (featherweight)

Jacqueline Amorim vs Sam Hughes (women’s strawweight)

Saturday 15 April – UFC Fight Night – T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, US

Britain’s Arnold Allen (left) faces his toughest test yet in ex-champion Max Holloway (Getty Images)
Britain’s Arnold Allen (left) faces his toughest test yet in ex-champion Max Holloway (Getty Images)

Main card

Max Holloway vs Arnold Allen (featherweight)

Edson Barboza vs Billy Quarantillo (featherweight)

Dustin Jacoby vs Azamat Murzakanov (light-heavyweight)

Tanner Boser vs Ion Cutelaba (light-heavyweight)

Pedro Munhoz vs Chris Gutierrez (bantamweight)

Bill Algeo vs TJ Brown (featherweight)

Prelims

Clay Guida vs Rafa Garcia (lightweight)

Gillian Robertson vs Piera Rodriguez (women’s strawweight)

Zak Cummings vs Ed Herman (light-heavyweight)

Brandon Royval vs Matheus Nicolau (flyweight)

Bruna Brasil vs Denise Gomes (women’s strawweight)

Aaron Phillips vs Gaston Bolanos (bantamweight)

Lando Vannata vs Daniel Zellhuber (lightweight)

Joselyne Edwards vs Lucie Pudilova (women’s bantamweight)

Saturday 22 April – UFC Fight Night – UFC Apex, Las Vegas, US

UFC heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes (Getty Images)
UFC heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes (Getty Images)

Main card

Sergei Pavlovich vs Curtis Blaydes (heavyweight)

Song Yadong vs Ricky Simon (bantamweight)

Brad Tavares vs Bruno Silva (middleweight)

Prelims

Rani Yahya vs Montel Jackson (bantamweight)

Karol Rosa vs Norma Dumont (women’s featherweight)

Rafael Estevam vs Carlos Candelario (flyweight)

Priscila Cachoeira vs Karine Silva (women’s flyweight)

Saturday 22 April – UFC Fight Night – TBA

Arman Tsarukyan vs Renato Moicano (lightweight)

Saturday 6 May – UFC 288 – Prudential Center, Newark, US

Former dual-weight champion Henry Cejudo will return in a title fight (Getty Images)
Former dual-weight champion Henry Cejudo will return in a title fight (Getty Images)

Aljamain Sterling (C) vs Henry Cejudo (bantamweight title)

Charles Oliveira vs Beneil Dariush (lightweight)

Bryce Mitchell vs Jonathan Pearce (featherweight)

Kron Gracie vs Charles Jourdain (featherweight)

Jessica Andrade vs Yan Xiaonan (women’s strawweight)

Marina Rodriguez vs Virna Jandiroba (women’s strawweight)

Kennedy Nzechukwu vs Devin Clark (light-heavyweight)

Andre Petroski vs Armen Petrosyan (middleweight)

Nate Maness vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov (flyweight)

Khaos Williams vs Rolando Bedoya (welterweight)

Daniel Santos vs Johnny Munoz (bantamweight)

Saturday 8 July – UFC 290 – T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, US

TBA vs TBA

Saturday 21 October – UFC 294 – Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, UAE

TBA vs TBA