주요 콘텐츠로 건너뛰기
A general view of the Octagon prior to the UFC Fight Night event on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
UFC Fight Pass

UFC’s Last Time In Mexico City

Take A Look Back At The Last Time That The Octagon Touched Down In Mexico City

When it comes to a love for combat sports, it’s impossible not to admire the intense passion that Mexican people have for boxing and mixed martial arts. That passion is on display every time a Mexican fighter competes, and was on full display at Noche UFC last year.

On February 24, after four years and some change, the UFC is back in Mexico City with an action-packed event featuring some of the biggest stars in Mexican MMA.

Order UFC 299: O'Malley vs Vera 2

Two high-stakes rematches top the fight card, with former flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and recent title challenger Brandon Royval colliding in the main event. Their first meeting back in 2020 ended abruptly after an injury to Royval prevented him from properly defending himself. Since then, the two have been title picture staples and look to earn another crack at reigning champion Alexandre Pantoja.

Please enable Javascript to view this content

The five-round co-main event is between former interim UFC featherweight champion Yair Rodriguez and former title challenger Brian Ortega. These two fan favorites met in July of 2022 when their fight came to a dissatisfying end due to a shoulder injury suffered by Ortega.

It’s always felt like unfinished business in these two matchups, and the crowd at Arena CDMX this weekend are the beneficiaries of the UFC finding a way to make these incredible fights happen again.

But before we settle the scores, let’s take a look back at the last time the world-famous Octagon landed in Mexico City.

Paul Craig Sets Up A Submission With Striking

Paul Craig of Scotland celebrates his submission victory over Vinicius Moreira of Brazil in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Paul Craig of Scotland celebrates his submission victory over Vinicius Moreira of Brazil in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

(Watch On UFC Fight Pass)

Longtime contender Paul Craig has made his mark in two divisions, and back in 2019 the now middleweight was wrecking records at light heavyweight. Craig landed some vicious knees on Vinicius Moreira that dropped his opponent, Craig continued to pour on strikes before going to his old reliable and finishing the fight with a rear naked choke submission.

Kyle Nelson Turns Into The Monster

Kyle Nelson punches Polo Reyes of Mexico in their featherweight bout during UFC Fight Night event at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Zuffa LLC)
Kyle Nelson punches Polo Reyes of Mexico in their featherweight bout during UFC Fight Night event at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Zuffa LLC)

(Watch On UFC Fight Pass)

Canadian featherweight Kyle Nelson ventured into enemy territory to silence the crowd in Mexico City, and he accomplished that when he knocked out Marco Polo Reyes in the first round of their bout. Nelson connected with a massive elbow that clearly hurt Reyes, which he followed up with a barrage of strikes that had Reyes out on his feet.

Steven Peterson Delivers A Knockout For The Ages

Steven Peterson knocks out Martin Bravo of Mexico with a spinning back fist in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Steven Peterson knocks out Martin Bravo of Mexico with a spinning back fist in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

(Watch On UFC Fight Pass)

It’s not uncommon to see spinning backfists in a fight. It’s less common for both opponents to throw spinning backfists at the exact same time. That’s what happened early in the second round of the featherweight bout between Steven Peterson and Martin Bravo. Unfortunately for Bravo, Peterson’s spinning backfist landed flush, putting a highlight reel ending to their bout. For the now retired Peterson, it was a moment that the Texas native will never forget.

Brandon Moreno And Askar Askarov Fight To A Split Draw

Brandon Moreno of Mexico attempts to submit Askar Askarov of Russia in their flyweight bout during UFC Fight Night event at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Zuffa LLC)
Brandon Moreno of Mexico attempts to submit Askar Askarov of Russia in their flyweight bout during UFC Fight Night event at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Zuffa LLC)

(Watch On UFC Fight Pass)

The heart with which Brandon Moreno fights is remarkable. Time and time again, Tijuana’s Moreno pushes through adversity, and that was the case in his fight with the unbeaten Askar Askarov.

The two flyweight contenders battled for 15 minutes in a back-and-forth fight that showcased the best parts of MMA. Each had their moments, and it was truly a razor close fight that ended in a draw, which was a disappointing result for both fighters, but felt like the right decision.

Carla Esparza And Alexa Grasso Throwdown To The Final Bell

Carla Esparza of Mexico punches Alexa Grasso in their women's strawweight bout during UFC Fight Night event at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Zuffa LLC)
Carla Esparza of Mexico punches Alexa Grasso in their women's strawweight bout during UFC Fight Night event at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Zuffa LLC)

(Watch On UFC Fight Pass)

Before she was the flyweight champ, Alexa Grasso had a series of close fights with many of the contenders or champions down a weight class at strawweight. In the co-main event of UFC Mexico City, Grasso fought Esparza to a very close majority decision loss that earned Fight of the Night honors.

Grasso’s striking was on point, and she nearly submitted Esparza, as well, but Esparza’s consistent grappling game gave her the nod of approval from the judges. What was most memorable about this fight was the final thirty seconds, when both athletes threw caution to the wind and exchanged wildly until the conclusion of the bout.

Yair Rodriguez vs Jeremy Stephens Ends In The Most Anticlimactic Way Ever

Yair Rodriguez of Mexico and Jeremy Stephens touch gloves prior to their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Yair Rodriguez of Mexico and Jeremy Stephens touch gloves prior to their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event on September 21, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

(Watch On UFC Fight Pass)

The buildup between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens made it one of the most anticipated fights of 2019. Well, the fight basically ended before it ever got started, as an inadvertent eye poke from Rodriguez ended the fight just 15 seconds into the match and produced a no contest verdict.