UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik

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UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik
UFC on ESPN 8.jpg
The poster for UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik.
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateMarch 28, 2020 (cancelled)
VenueNationwide Arena
CityColumbus, Ohio, United States
Event chronology
UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Edwards UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris

UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik was a planned mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship originally to take place on March 28, 2020 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, United States.[1][2] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was eventually postponed (see section below).[3]


The promotion was expected to return to Ohio for the first time since UFC 203 in 2016 and to Columbus for the first time in over 11 years, since UFC 96 in 2009.[1] Zuffa previously hosted a World Extreme Cagefighting event, WEC 47, at the venue in March 2010.[4]

A heavyweight bout between former UFC Heavyweight Championship challenger Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik was expected to headline the event.[5]

Punahele Soriano was briefly linked to a middleweight bout with Eric Spicely at the event. However, Soriano was removed from the card for undisclosed reasons and replaced by Roman Kopylov.[6]

Phil Rowe was briefly linked to a welterweight bout with Laureano Staropoli at the event. However, Rowe was removed from the card in late February for undisclosed reasons and replaced by Khaos Williams.[7]

Carlos Felipe was expected to face Jeff Hughes in a heavyweight bout at the event. However, Felipe was removed from the card in late February for undisclosed reasons and replaced by Tanner Boser.[7]

The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate bantamweight winner Julianna Peña was expected to face Aspen Ladd at the event. However, Peña pulled out of the fight in early March citing an injury. In turn, promotion officials elected to remove Ladd from the card entirely and the pairing is expected to be rescheduled at a future event.[8]

A bantamweight bout between former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt and Raphael Assunção was scheduled for the event.[9] However, Garbrandt pulled out on March 12 due to kidney issues.[10]

COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio governor Mike DeWine issued an order restricting mass gatherings and sporting events on March 12, thus the UFC decided to move the event to Las Vegas where it would take place behind closed doors at the UFC APEX facility, which the organisation owns and is home of training and production facilities.[11] UFC president Dana White then announced on March 15 that this event would have to be moved once again as the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) decided to provisionally ban events until March 25, when a new meeting would discuss future plans in what could jeopardize this event's realization.[12] On March 16, it was confirmed that the event was postponed after a letter from White to employees was shared to the public.[3] This was the first time that the promotion was forced to cancel events due to vis major. The UFC also cancelled two events scheduled for March 21 and April 11.[13] White assured on March 24 that all cancelled fights will be rescheduled for future events.[14]

Cancelled fight card[edit]

Fight card
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Heavyweight Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik [a]
Welterweight Matt Brown vs. Miguel Baeza [b]
Heavyweight Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro [c]
Light Heavyweight Sam Alvey vs. Khalil Rountree Jr. [d]
Bantamweight Cody Stamann vs. Raoni Barcelos
Bantamweight Louis Smolka vs. Davey Grant [e]
Bantamweight Marlon Vera vs. Eddie Wineland [f]
Welterweight Laureano Staropoli vs. Khaos Williams
Women's Strawweight Tecia Torres vs. Mizuki Inoue
Middleweight Eric Spicely vs. Roman Kopylov
Heavyweight Jeff Hughes vs. Tanner Boser
Bantamweight Martin Day vs. Randy Costa
  1. ^ Moved to UFC 249.[15]
  2. ^ Moved to UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris[16]
  3. ^ Moved to UFC 249.[15]
  4. ^ Alvey later booked to face Ryan Spann at UFC 249.[15]
  5. ^ Smolka later booked to face Casey Kenney at UFC on ESPN: Woodley vs. Burns.[17]
  6. ^ Vera later booked to face former UFC Flyweight Championship challenger Ray Borg at UFC 249.[15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Staff (2019-12-12). "Ohio bound: UFC books March date in Columbus for first time in 11 years". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  2. ^ Damon Martin (2019-12-12). "UFC returns to Columbus for first time in 10 years with March 28 card". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  3. ^ a b Nolan King and John Morgan (2020-03-15). "UFC postpones three events amid growing coronavirus outbreak". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  4. ^ Nate Lawson (2009-12-15). "WEC 47 official for Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on March 6". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  5. ^ Clyde Aidoo (2019-12-13). "BREAKING: Francis Ngannou Faces Jairzinho Rozenstruik in Columbus". mmanews.com. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  6. ^ Staff (2020-02-21). "Roman Kopylov tackles short notice fight against Eric Spicely during UFC Columbus". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2019-02-21. (in Dutch)
  7. ^ a b Staff (2020-02-28). "Laureano Staropoli and Jeff Hughes have new opponents for UFC Columbus". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2019-02-28. (in Dutch)
  8. ^ John Morgan (2020-03-06). "Injury forces Julianna Pena out of UFC on ESPN 8 fight vs. Aspen Ladd". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  9. ^ Staff (2019-12-14). "Raphael Assuncao meets former Bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt during UFC Columbus". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2019-12-14. (in Dutch)
  10. ^ Damon Martin (2020-03-12). "Cody Garbrandt out of UFC on ESPN 8 co-main event with Raphael Assuncao". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  11. ^ Staff (2020-03-12). "Coronavirus: UFC schedule continues for next several weeks, but with some adjustments". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  12. ^ Steven Marrocco (2020-03-15). "UFC to move next three events, Dana White vows show will go on despite coronavirus pandemic". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  13. ^ Brett Okamoto (2020-03-16). "UFC postponing next three events, Dana White says". espn.com. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  14. ^ Farah Hannoun (2020-03-24). "Dana White: All called-off fights, including Tyron Woodley vs. Leon Edwards, are being rescheduled". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  15. ^ a b c d Alexander K. Lee (2020-04-06). "UFC 249 fight card announced, Andrade vs. Namajunas 2 still co-headlines". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-04-07.
  16. ^ Jay Anderson (2020-05-04). "Matt Brown vs. Miguel Baeza moved to May 16". cagesidepress.com. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  17. ^ Staff (2020-05-22). "Dana White announces full UFC on ESPN 9 lineup for May 30 in Las Vegas". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  18. ^ "UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2019-12-17.