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The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Sacramento this Saturday for UFC Fight Night 155. A number of ranked fighters are competing on the main card, so let’s take a look at them and the possible implications their fights could have on the rankings.
In the event’s headliner, former women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie takes on rising prospect Aspen Ladd in a bantamweight matchup. De Randamie (8-3) has only fought twice since 2017, but she is on a four-fight winning streak, with three of those wins coming at 135 pounds. She most recently outclassed former bantamweight title challenger Raquel Pennington over three rounds in November of last year.
As a result, she is rated as the second-best bantamweight in the world by Sherdog, third by ESPN and is No. 1 in the UFC rankings. In addition, she is regarded as the seventh-best and ninth-best female pound-for-pound fighter in the world by Sherdog and ESPN respectively. A fifth consecutive win could set her up to have a rematch with current champion Amanda Nunes.
Her adversary in Ladd (8-0) will be looking to prevent that, however. The 24-year-old has been impressive since making her UFC debut in 2017 with three straight wins. Her victims include Lina Lansberg, Tonya Evinger, and most recently, a win in a rematch over Sijara Eubanks. That winning streak has seen her rise up the ranks as she is rated as the fifth-best bantamweight in the world by Sherdog, fourth by ESPN, and is the No. 4-ranked contender in the UFC rankings. A win over de Randamie would be the biggest of her career and would ideally see her challenge Nunes next. However, it also depends on if the promotion feels that she is ready for Nunes so early into her career.
In the co-main event, Ricky Simon welcomes Urijah Faber back from retirement. Simon (15-1) most recently outpointed Rani Yahya at UFC 234 and is 3-0 overall in the UFC since debuting last year. He is currently ranked No. 15 in the UFC bantamweight rankings. A win over Faber would not only represent the biggest of his career, but also make it four straight wins and possibly move the 26-year-old up the ranks further.
As for Faber (34-10), “The California Kid” has been retired since he last competed in December 2016, notably in Sacramento. But given Simon’s ranking, a win on his return could insert Faber right back into the Top 15. The former bantamweight title challenger last defeated Brad Pickett but had lost his previous two before that to Dominick Cruz and Jimmie Rivera.
Lastly, ranked featherweights are in action as Josh Emmett collides with Mirsad Bektic on the main card. Emmett (14-2) bounced back from a devastating knockout loss to Jeremy Stephens with a knockout of his own against Michael Johnson earlier this year. Another win on Saturday could make it four wins in his last five and move him up the ranks further. The Team Alpha Male standout is currently ranked No. 10 in the UFC featherweight rankings.
His opponent in Bektic (13-1) will be looking to do the same. The Bosnian-American has won his last two in a row, having last outpointed former title challenger Ricardo Lamas via split decision last year. A win over Emmett would not only make it three in a row, but also see him overtake his foe in the rankings and enter the Top 10. Bektic is currently ranked No. 12 in the rankings.