UFC on ESPN 53 Fight Card: Is It Worth Watching?



Some people would say that there isn't a card worth watching until UFC 300 but we believe that the UFC on ESPN 53 fight card has several solid bouts. Moreover, who doesn't love watching Rose Namajunas fight?

UFC on ESPN 53 Fight Card: Everything You Need to Know

UFC on ESPN 53 Co-Main and Main Events

• Women's Flyweight: Amanda Ribas (13-4-0) vs Rose Namajunas (12-6-0)
• Heavyweight: Karl Williams (9-1-0) vs Justin Tafa (7-3-0)

Amanda Ribas is yet to leave a mark in the Flyweight division being 2-2 and she will face her toughest challenge yet in Rose Namajunas. After losing the belt at Strawweight for the second time, Rose decided to move up and pursue the title at 125. She suffered a surprising defeat in her debut in September, so this is a huge bout for her too.

In the co-main event, Justin Tafa returns after winning three out of his four most recent contests and hopes to break into the Top 15 of the heavyweight division with a win. He will face Karl Williams, who is on a 6-win streak and won both of his UFC bouts in 2023.

UFC on ESPN 53 Main Card

• Women's Flyweight: Amanda Ribas (13-4-0) vs Rose Namajunas (12-6-0)
• Heavyweight: Karl Williams (9-1-0) vs Justin Tafa (7-3-0)
• Middleweight: Edmen Shahbazyan (12-4-0) vs AJ Dobson (7-2-0)
• Bantamweight: Payton Talbott (7-0-0) vs Cameron Saaiman (9-1-0)
• Featherweight: Billy Quarantillo (18-5-0) vs Youssef Zalal (10-5-1)
• Featherweight: Fernando Padilla (15-5-0) vs Luis Pajuelo (8-1-0)

It is strange to see Edmen Shahbazyan this high in the UFC on ESPN 53 fight card but that is because most of the available high-ranked fighters have been booked for UFC 300. While we have nothing against Edmen, he lost four of his last five bouts in the promotion. His opponent is AJ Dobson, who agreed to step in on short notice for this fight.

Payton Talbott entered the UFC after an impressive performance in Dana White's Contender Series and immediately showed that he will be a problem in the Bantamweight division. He returns against Terrence Mitchell, who will be looking to bounce back from his first career defeat.

Earlier on the UFC on ESPN 53 fight card, we are guaranteed to see a dog fight between Billy Quarantillo and Youssef Zalal. Both fighters hate decisions and will try to take each other out in the opening round. Moreover, it is impossible to predict who wins here.

Last but not least, Fernando Padilla looks to bounce back from a surprising defeat to Kyle Nelson in September against a debutant who earned a contract with one of the wildest finishes ever on DWCS.

UFC on ESPN 53 Prelims

• Lightweight: Kurt Holobaugh (21-7-0) vs Trey Ogden (16-6-0)
• Featherweight: Ricardo Ramos (16-5-0) vs Julian Erosa (28-12-0)
• Bantamweight: Miles Johns (13-2-0) vs Cody Gibson (20-9-0)
• Featherweight: Jarno Errens (13-5-1) vs Steven Nguyen (9-1-0)
• Women's Bantamweight: Montserrat Rendon (6-0-0) vs Daria Zheleznyakova (8-1-0)
• Flyweight: Igor Severino (8-0-0) vs Andre Lima (7-0-0)
• Heavyweight: Mohammed Usman (11-2-0) vs Mick Parkin (8-0-0)

The prelims of the UFC on ESPN 53 fight card do not include any star figures but we still believe that a proper MMA fan would not miss these bouts. Moreover, we often see the best fights in the undercard where no fighter can't afford to hold back.

Vlad is a former amateur MMA fighter. After a series of injuries, he found a different way to connect with the sport and its fanbase - through writing. He's been covering everything-UFC for over 5 years on various platforms and has been part of the team at NYFights since early 2022.