The UFC returns to Madison Square Garden for UFC 295 on Nov. 11, and despite a much anticipated heavyweight title fight was pulled after an injury to the champion, the card remains strong. Former light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka faces former middleweight champion Alex Pereira for the vacant light heavyweight title while the interim heavyweight title will be decided between Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall.
One of the organization's rising stars, Tabatha Ricci, will be featured on the prelims. Ricci is on a four-fight win streak and faces Loopy Godinez, who is looking for her fourth straight.
No. 10-ranked Ricci started her career out at strawweight and went 5-0 before joining the UFC. Ricci fought previously under the LFA banner and made her UFC debut at UFC Vegas 28 against current title contender Manon Fiorot. Fiorot would be Ricci's lone professional loss as she has beaten Polyana Viana, Jessica Penne, and most recently Gillian Robertson at UFC Jacksonville during her winning streak.
Winning streaks will be on the line when Tabatha Ricci faces Loopy Godinez
No. 13-ranked Lupita "Loopy" Godinez also signed with the UFC after a stint with the LFA where she became the strawweight champion. Godinez debuted at UFC Vegas 24 with a 5-0 record and would go 3-3 in just over a year. This year, Godinez is 3-0 with wins over Cynthia Calvillo, Emily Ducote, and most recently Elise Reed at Noche UFC.
This matchup of ranked up-and-coming title contenders could be a Fight of the Night contender due to their style. Ricci and Godinez line up identically in height and reach and both are well-rounded. Ricci has a background in judo, muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and boxing while Godinez is primarily a wrestler with a purple belt in BJJ.
While the main card will feature a strawweight title contender fight between Mackenzie Dern and Jessica Andrade, the title picture could get more interesting with the outcome of Ricci vs. Godinez