MMA weekend preview: Jam-packed schedule on tap

All three major mixed martial arts promotions in the United States will hold televised events this weekend, capped by the Ultimate Fighting Championship card in Mexico on Saturday.

Bellator and World Series of Fighting will go head-to-head with shows on Friday night.

Las Vegas-based WSOF heads to Phoenix, where it will revisit the early days of MMA with an eight-man, one-night tournament to determine the next challenger for the lightweight title, currently held by Justin Gaethje.

Mike Ricci, Luis Palomino and Brian Foster headline the field for the event, which airs live on NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m.

The Bellator event, headlined by a middleweight bout between Hisaki Kato and Melvin Manhoef, will air live from Thackerville, Okla., on Spike (Cable 29) at 6.

Featherweight Bubba Jenkins, the 2011 NCAA Division I wrestling champion, will take on Jordan Parsons. Also, Las Vegan Chidi Njokuani will make his Bellator debut in a welterweight bout against Ricky Rainey.

The UFC makes its first visit to Monterrey, Mexico, on Saturday for “The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale.”

Both the preliminary and main cards will air live on Fox Sports 1. Kelvin Gastelum will fight late-replacement Neil Magny in the welterweight main event.

Magny agreed to step in for Matt Brown, who suffered an ankle injury in training and had to pull out of the fight earlier this month. Gastelum is returning to welterweight after moving up to middleweight for one fight due to several weight-cutting issues.

Also on the card, Ricardo Lamas will take on Diego Sanchez in a featherweight bout and Henry Cejudo will look to secure a potential flyweight title fight when he takes on Jussier Formiga. Cejudo, an undefeated Olympic gold medalist, has won all three of his UFC bouts by decision.

The preliminary card airs at 5 p.m., with the main card beginning at 7.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj

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