UFC® will make its first appearance in Detroit in more than 20 years with the 145-pound world title on the line when Max Holloway makes his first walk as champion against No. 2 ranked Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC® 218: HOLLOWAY vs EDGAR.Setting the stage for the main event will be two bouts with title implications as No. 1 ranked Alistair Overeem and No. 4Francis Ngannou clash in a heavyweight tilt, and top lightweight contenders No. 3 Eddie Alvarez and No. 5 Justin Gaethje try to position themselves in the stacked l55-pound division. The event takes place Saturday, Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and will air live on Pay-Per-View.
Featherweight champion Holloway (18-3, fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii) was considered the future of the division, and the future is now. Coming off a dominant third-round knockout of long reigning champion Jose Aldo, Holloway marked his arrival as champion in emphatic fashion. Edgar (21-5-1, fighting out of Toms River, N.J.) hopes to make history of his own by becoming only the fourth athlete in UFC history to become a two-division champion (Conor McGregor, BJ Penn, Randy Couture). The New Jersey native won the 155-pound title in 2010 against Hall-of-Famer BJ Penn and held it until a 2012 loss to Benson Henderson.
In the co-main event, top-ranked Overeem (43-15, 1 NC, fighting out of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) looks to earn another crack at the heavyweight title with an impressive performance against budding phenom Ngannou (10-1, fighting of Paris, France). Overeem is one of the best heavyweights in MMA history and has been a champion in almost every promotion he has competed in, with only the UFC title eluding him. Overeem has finished 38 of his 43 wins, 21 by knockout and 17 by way of submission, proving that he is versatile and capable of ending the fight wherever it goes. On the other side, Ngannou is a knockout artist who possesses the one punch power that makes him one of the most feared competitors in MMA today. With his meteoric rise, a win over someone with the credentials Overeem has would make it nearly impossible to deny him a shot at current champion Stipe Miocic in his next bout.
Additionally, an electrifying lightweight matchup between the coaches of this season of The Ultimate Fighter®, Alvarez (28-5, 1 NC, fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn.) and Gaethje (18-0, fighting out of Arvada, Colo.) will also be featured on the main card. The two strikers have combined for 37 finishes, 31 by way of knockout and 20 in the first round, so don’t expect for this bout to go the distance. Alvarez is a former UFC champion who hopes a win over the undefeated Gaethje will propel him back into title contention. Gaethje is coming off a Fight of the Year candidate performance against perennial contender Michael Johnson in his promotional debut and knows a win over a recent champion will confirm that he’s knocking on the door of a shot at the 155-pound crown.
· Olympic gold medalist, No. 2 ranked flyweight Henry Cejudo (11-2, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) clashes with No. 4 Sergio Pettis (16-2, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.) with both men eyeing a title shot
· Michigan native Drakkar Klose(8-0-1, fighting out of Glendale, Ariz.) returns home to meet Swedish striker David Teymur (6-1, fighting out of Stockholm, Sweden) in a lightweight duel
· In a battle of high ranked strawweights, No. 9 Felice Herrig (13-6, fighting out of Crystal Lake, Ill.) and No. 12 Cortney Casey (7-4, fighting out of Maui, Hawaii) look to take one step closer to title contention
· Michigan’s own Amanda Cooper (3-3, fighting out of Bath, Mich.) takes on fellow The Ultimate Fighter alum Angela Magana (11-8, fighting out of Phuket, Thailand) at 115-pounds
· Light heavyweight power puncher Jeremy Kimball (15-6, fighting out of Colorado Springs, Colo.) meets undefeated striking sensation Dominic Reyes(7-0, fighting out of Victorville, Calif.)