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Chalk up one more acquisition for the Ultimate Fighting Championship from the Invicta Fighting Championships ranks.
On Friday, Mexican outlet Milenio reported that Montserrat Ruiz (9-1) would be stepping up on short notice to compete at UFC on ESPN 21 on March 20. The fighter out of Mexico will be replacing Kay Hansen, as the latter suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw from the contest. Ruiz will meet fellow debutant Cheyanne Buys (5-1), and she confirmed that she would be making her Octagon debut on this card on her Instagram.
Ruiz made her Invicta debut in 2018, where she dropped a decision verdict to UFC vet Danielle Taylor and suffered her first career loss in the process. Some 19 months later, “Conejo” returned to face former Invicta strawweight title challenger Janaisa Morandin, and she pulled off a thrilling scarf hold armlock to get back in the win column. Of note, she was the second woman to land this maneuver inside the Invicta cage, with the first being Cindy Dandois over Jessamyn Duke in 2016.
Fellow Invicta competitor and Legacy Fighting Alliance vet Buys nudged her way into the UFC following a successful performance on Dana White's Contender Series in 2020. “The Warrior Princess,” per UFC President Dana White, harassed him on his social media until he gave her a shot, and signed the 25-year-old with a win. All but one of the Florida native’s bouts have gone the distance, with the lone stoppage in her pro debut in 2018.
UFC on ESPN 21 goes down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, and middleweights will be on the marquee as Derek Brunson looks to halt the momentum of Kevin Holland. Other noteworthy matchups on the card include a lightweight tilt between once-beatens as Gregor Gillespie faces Brad Riddell, while Marion Reneau and Macy Chiasson throw down at women’s bantamweight.