Heavyweight KO Artists Headline UFC Return to Portland

Las Vegas – UFC® returns to Portland, Ore. for the first time in over three years with a battle of heavyweight contenders, as No. 8 ranked Alistair Overeem takes on No. 9 Walt Harris. In a pivotal strawweight contenders’ bout, former champion and No. 7 ranked Carla Esparza takes on No. 8 Michelle Waterson.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN+®: OVEREEM vs. HARRIS will take place Saturday, April 11 at Moda Center. The main card begins at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in English and Spanish, with the prelims kicking off on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 7 p.m. ET. Doors open at 6 p.m. ET.

Among the most decorated strikers in MMA, Overeem (45-18 1NC, fighting out of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) has his sights set on another highlight-reel knockout. Over the course of his career, he has earned thrilling victories over former UFC heavyweight champions Junior Dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum and Andrei Arlovski. Overeem is now poised to re-assert himself as a title threat with a specular performance.

A heavy-handed striker, Harris (13-7 1NC, fighting out of Birmingham, Ala.) has earned all his MMA victories via knockout. His two most recent outings saw him finish both Aleksei Oleinik and Sergey Spivak in under one minute each. Harris also holds wins over Daniel Spitz and Chase Sherman. Harris now hopes to continue his rise up the division by netting the biggest win of his career.

The inaugural UFC women’s strawweight champion, Esparza (16-6, fighting out of Irvine, Calif.) looks to take another step back towards title contention. Winner of The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned, she holds impressive victories over Rose Namajunas, Alexa Grasso and Cynthia Calvillo. Esparza is now gunning for her third consecutive win against one of the division’s perennial contenders.

A former Invicta FC atomweight champion, Waterson (17-7, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) aims to take out her first former UFC titleholder. A talented striker and grappler, she holds entertaining wins against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Paige VanZant and Felice Herrig, and she hopes a win over Esparza will continue her ascent up the strawweight ladder.

Additional bouts on the card include:

No. 13 ranked welterweight contender Vicente Luque (17-7-1, fighting out of Brasilia, Brazil) looks for another highlight-reel finish against surging Randy Brown (12-3, fighting out of Queens, N.Y.)
Eryk Anders (13-4, fighting out of Birmingham, Ala.) collides with Krzysztof Jotko (21-4, fighting out of Orneta, Poland) in an entertaining middleweight bout
Niko Price (14-3 1NC, fighting out of Cape Coral, Fla.) takes on Muslim Salikhov (16-2, fighting out of Buynaksk, Dagestan, Russia) in a welterweight bout guaranteed to deliver fireworks
Tristan Connelly (14-6, fighting out of Vancouver, Canada) aims to continue the momentum from his Fight of the Night debut victory when he meets Alex da Silva (21-2, fighting out of Balneario Camboriu, SC, Brazil)
Don’Tale Mayes (7-3, fighting out of Louisville, Ky.) faces Rodrigo Nascimento (7-0, fighting out of Belo Horizonte, Brazil) in a clash of Dana White’s Contender Series signees
Markus Perez (11-3, fighting out Sao Paulo, Brazil) meets Alessio Di Chirico (12-4, fighting out of Rome, Italy) in an exciting middleweight bout
Julia Avila (7-1, fighting out of Oklahoma City, Okla.) squares off with Karol Rosa (12-3, fighting out of Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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