Then, in the night’s co-main event, ninth-ranked heavyweight Stipe Miocic (10-1, fighting out of Cleveland, Ohio) returns to the Octagon after a dominant performance in his last bout to face former title contender Gabriel Gonzaga (16-7, fighting out of Ludlow, Mass.), a winner of two straight.
In addition, fan favorite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (21-6, fighting out of Albuquerque, NM) looks to continue his winning ways against fellow lightweight and Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Adriano Martins (25-6, fighting out of Manaus, Brazil), fresh off a submission win over Daron Cruickshank in his UFC debut last month.
Finally, tenth-ranked featherweight Darren Elkins (17-3, fighting out of Hobart, Ind.) looks to thrill his hometown Chicagoland fans when he takes on a reinvigorated Jeremy Stephens (22-9, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.), who has reeled off two straight wins since his drop to the 145-pound class.
“Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson is the current No. 1 ranked contender and he’ll be taking on Josh Thomson, who is currently ranked No. 4 and was supposed to fight for the title next before champion Anthony Pettis got injured,” UFC President Dana White said. “The stakes are really high in this fight and both of these guys want to fight for the belt. Top to bottom, this card is stacked!”