The UFC’s return to Phoenix after the start of the new year continues to grow with another pair of fights.
Nina Ansaroff (6-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) is set to take on Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (6-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in a women’s strawweight fight at UFC Fight Night 103, and Augusto Mendes (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will meet Frankie Saenz (11-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in a bantamweight bout. A UFC official confirmed the bookings to MMAjunkie today.
UFC Fight Night 103 takes place Jan. 15 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Ansaroff will be hoping to snap a two-fight skid, both of which have come since signing with the UFC. After a TKO win over Munah Holland at Invicta FC 7 in 2013, Ansaroff signed with the UFC. But in her debut against Juliana Lima, she dropped a unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 56. She was set to fight Rose Namajunas at UFC 187, but was pulled from the fight the day of the event after issues making weight. After more than a year on the sidelines, she returned at UFC 195 in January, but dropped a unanimous decision to Justine Kish.
Jones-Lybarger has a two-fight skid of her own, also with both coming after joining the UFC. After a four-fight winning streak under the RFA banner, Jones-Lybarger dropped a decision to Tecia Torres at UFC 194 a year ago. She was outpointed by Randa Markos at UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in June, giving her the first losing skid of her career.
After a perfect 5-0 start to his career, Mendes made his promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 83 in February in Pittsburgh. But in a short-notice fight against upcoming title challenger Cody Garbrandt, he was stopped with a first-round TKO for the first setback of his career.
Saenz started his UFC tenure with three straight wins – decisions over Nolan Ticman, Iuri Alcantara and Sirwan Kakai, giving him an impressive seven-fight winning streak. But a year ago, he dropped a unanimous decision to Urijah Faber, and in July, he was knocked out for the first time in nearly five years when Eddie Wineland stopped him in the third round at UFC on FOX 20 in Chicago. Now he’ll be looking to snap a two-fight skid.
The latest UFC Fight Night 103 card includes:
- B.J. Penn vs. Yair Rodriguez
- Court McGee vs. Ben Saunders
- Tony Martin vs. Alex White
- Devin Powell vs. Jordan Rinaldi
- Cyril Asker vs. Dmitrii Smoliakov
- Joachim Christensen vs. Bojan Mihajlovic
- Walt Harris vs. Chase Sherman
- Damian Grabowski vs. Viktor Pesta
- Marcin Held vs. Joe Lauzon
- Bryan Caraway vs. Jimmie Rivera
- Jussier Formiga vs. Sergio Pettis
- Nina Ansaroff vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger
- Augusto Mendes Frankie Saenz