Storylines abound for UFC 222, as the card features Cat Zingano's grand return to the cage following an 18-month hiatus, plus the hotly-anticipated promotional debut of Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Mackenzie Dern. Tickets for this star-studded pay-per-view spectacular can be scooped up right here on AXS.
Zingano, 35, hasn't competed since July of 2016. A former UFC women's bantamweight title challenger, she's looking to snap a two-fight losing skid and pick up her first win since 2014. While it might look bad that she hasn't tasted victory in close to four years, it certainly helps her case to jump right back into the title conversation that her last win came over current 135-pound world champion Amanda "Lioness" Nunes.
A victory at UFC 222 over Ketlen Vieira could push her right back into the championship mix. With the women's bantamweight title picture wide open heading into the second quarter of 2018, Zingano has as good a chance as anyone to score a coveted title opportunity.
As for the Dern fight, the 24-year-old phenom makes her UFC debut against Ashley Yoder. In a fight expected to be contested at strawweight, all eyes will be on Dern's grappling game. She's widely considered to be one of the top Brazilian jiu-jitsu prospects in the world today, as she won her last two MMA fights by submission.
In the top billing of the March 3 show at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena, heavyweights collide as Stefan Struve fights Andrei Arlovski. Max Holloway was slated to fight Frankie Edgar for the 145-pound title at this event, but injuries forced the cancellation of that bout. A new headlining fight is still possible as a late addition to UFC 222.