Featherweights Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez will meet live on ABC and ESPN+ at UFC Fight Night.
The bout headlines the July 16 card from the UBS Arena at Belmont Park in New York.
Former featherweight title challenger Ortega (15-2, 1 NC, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) returns to the Octagon for the first time in almost a year. An elite grappler with knockout power, Ortega has impressed fans with highlight-reel finishes of Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano. He now intends to regain his momentum in the division by becoming the first person to submit Rodriguez.
Rodriguez (14-3, 1 NC, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.) aims to secure his first shot at UFC gold with another showstopping performance. Considered a top prospect since he joined the UFC at 22 years old, Rodriguez has proven himself to be among the best fighters in the world with stoppages over BJ Penn, Chan Sung Jung and Andre Fili. He now plans to make a statement against Ortega and jump to the top of the rankings.
Other bouts include
* Elite flyweights No. 3 ranked Askar Askarov (14-1-1, fighting out of Dagestan, Russia) and No. 6 Alex Perez (24-6, fighting out of Lemoore, Calif.) look to steal the show
* Top 15 bantamweights lock horns as No. 12 ranked Ricky Simon (19-3, fighting out of Vancouver, Wash.) faces undefeated No. 14 Jack Shore (16-0, fighting out of Abertillery, Wales, UK)
* Ranked women’s strawweight action sees No. 10 Michelle Waterson (18-9, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) match up with No. 11 Amanda Lemos (11-2-1, fighting out of Para, Brazil)
* Bill Algeo (15-6, fighting out of King of Prussia, Penn.) and Billy Quarantillo (16-4, fighting out of Tampa, Fla.) meet in an exciting featherweight bout
* Welterweight strikers No. 13 ranked Li Jingliang (18-7, fighting out of Beijing, China) and Muslim Salikhov (18-2, fighting out of Dagestan, Russia) collide
* No. 9 ranked flyweight Matt Schnell (15-6, 1 NC, fighting out of Shreveport, La.) returns to action against No. 12 Sumudaerji (16-4, fighting out of Chengdu, Sichuan, China)
* Dwight Grant (11-5, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) makes his UFC middleweight debut against Dustin Stoltzfus (13-4, fighting out of Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)
* Herbert Burns (11-3, fighting out of Lantana, Fla. by way of Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) competes at bantamweight for the first time against undefeated, highly regarded prospect Khusein Askhabov (23-0, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Grozny, Chechnya)
* A thrilling middleweight bout sees Punahele Soriano (8-2, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) take on Dalcha Lungiambula (11-4, fighting out of Cape Town, South Africa)
* No. 15 ranked light heavyweight Dustin Jacoby (17-5-1, fighting out of Springfield, Ill.) has his sights set on defending his spot in the rankings against Da-un Jung (15-2-1, fighting out of Seoul, South Korea)