The UFC is capping its third event in eight days with a big main event. Literally.
Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris made weight Friday morning for their heavyweight contender fight in Jacksonville, Florida. Overeem hit the scale at 253.5 pounds; Harris was at 264.5. The two will meet in the UFC Fight Night headliner in an empty VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night.
ESPN has Overeem ranked No. 10 among MMA heavyweights. The bout is a chance for both to move up in the UFC's divisional pecking order.
The fight was initially booked for last December, but Harris withdrew after his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard was shot to death in November. This will be Harris' first bout since then.
Overeem (45-18, 1 NC) is one of the best heavyweight fighters in MMA history. The Dutchman is a former Strikeforce and Dream heavyweight champion and 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix kickboxing titleholder.
The one achievement Overeem has never attained is the UFC heavyweight title. In his only previous shot, Overeem, 39, had a two-fight winning streak snapped last December when Jairzinho Rozenstruik knocked him out with four seconds left in a bout Overeem was winning.
Harris (13-7, 1 NC), a 36-year-old Alabama native, was just beginning to find himself in the UFC before the family tragedy. The former Jacksonville State University basketball player is unbeaten in his last four fights. He is a two-time former Golden Gloves champion. His last fight was a 12-second knockout of Aleksei Oleinik at UFC San Antonio in July 2019.
ESPN has Gadelha (17-4) as the No. 8-ranked women's strawweight fighter in MMA. Hill (12-7) is going into her seventh fight in 421 days, the second most prolific seven-fight stretch in UFC history. She's on a three-fight winning streak.
While the UFC tries to sort out the visa problem, Faber, who weighed in at 153.5, is standing by. He would still need approval from the Florida State Boxing Commission to fight Vera, who weighed in at 145.5.
Chikadze will now face Irwin Rivera, but Rivera did not take part in the morning weigh-ins, as he was still waiting for medical clearance and the results of his COVID-19 testing. The commission will weigh Rivera separately.