Flashback: In December of 2020, just slightly over two years after its last show on broadcast television, published reports indicated that the UFC would return to over-the-air TV with its first show on the ABC television network.
From Humble Beginnings
The card, dubbed UFC on ABC 1, would originate from UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi with limited in-person attendance capped at 2,000 spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed to ensure a safe event, and was the first event from the world’s top MMA promotion to be held with a crowd after the start of the pandemic.
As with the previous two UFC on ABC cards, UFC on ABC 3 on July 16 will begin with the undercard at noon ET/ 9 am PT on ESPN, followed at 3 pm ET/ noon PT on ABC.
The entirety of UFC on ABC 3 on July 16 will be streamed over ESPN+, the cable network’s subscription-based video service.
UFC on ABC 3 Headlined by Ortega vs. Rodriguez in Main Event
Wednesday, it was revealed that the July 16 UFC on ABC 3 would be headlined by a five-round showdown in the featherweight ranks between No. 2 contender Brian Ortega (15-2, 1 NC MMA, 7-2, 1 NC UFC) and No. 3 contender Yair Rodriguez (13-3, 1 NC MMA, 8-2, 1 NC UFC.)
This main event will serve as an elimination battle for the No. 1 contender status for the UFC Featherweight Championship, so could a fight against current titleholder Alexander Volkanovski be in the cards for the winner of the UFC on ABC 3 main event on July 16?
Already, this is shaping up to be a brilliant headliner for the UFC’s third effort on ABC later on this summer, and the card itself is already taking shape.
UFC on ABC 3 Fight Card
The following is a partial list of fights currently (as of June 2) booked to take place during UFC on ABC 3 on July 16:
Note: The bout order has yet to be finally determined, and thus the exact placement of the fights may not be definitively known until closer to the date of the show. Some bouts may get postponed entirely, while others may remain intact but are instead rebooked for another show. Additionally, fights may be added to this event before the date of the card.
In the case of UFC on ABC 3 on July 16, a co-main event has yet to be officially confirmed for the card as of June 2.
- Main Event: Featherweight Bout: Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez
- Flyweight Bout: Askar Askarov vs. Alex Perez
- Light Heavyweight Bout: Dustin Jacoby vs. Da Un Jung
- Women’s Flyweight Bout: Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Lemos
- Featherweight Bout: Shane Burgos vs. Charles Jourdain
- Featherweight Bout: Herbert Burns vs. Khusein Askhabov
- Middleweight Bout: Punahele Soriano vs. Dalcha Lungiambula
- Bantamweight Bout: Ricky Simon vs. Jack Shore
- Featherweight Bout: Billy Quarantillo vs. Bill Algeo
- Welterweight Bout: Jingliang Li vs. Muslim Salikhov
- Flyweight Bout: Matt Schnell vs. Su Mudaerji
- Middleweight Bout: Dwight Grant vs. Dustin Stolzfus
- Strawweight Bout: Jessica Penne vs. Emily Ducote
UFC Heads to Long Island for UFC on ABC 3
Unlike UFC on ABC 2 last year, UFC on ABC 3 will be held in a traditional arena setting, and for the first time in the UFC on ABC series, this event will be held with a full audience in tow.
This will be the first UFC show to emanate from Long Island in five years, and just the second to be held on Long Island all-time, as the Nassau Coliseum (the former home of the Islanders) served as the host venue for UFC on FOX 25 in July of 2017.
That night’s card was headlined by a middleweight confrontation between Chris Weidman and Kelvin Gastelum, with Weidman emerging victorious in the main event thanks to a third-round submission (arm-triangle choke).
The UFC has already put on two impressive shows on ABC, so only time will tell if UFC on ABC 3 will be as impressive.
There’s not much more left to say here except this:
Let the countdown to UFC on ABC 3 begin.