Four fights now official for UFC 159, including McMann-Gaff, Garcia-McKenzie


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leonard-garcia-15.jpgFour previously reported fights for next month’s UFC 159 pay-per-view have been made official, including another bout in the UFC’s fledgling women’s bantamweight division.

Olympian Sara McMann (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) takes on Sheila Gaff (10-4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC); Leonard Garcia (15-10-1 MMA, 2-6 UFC) meets Cody McKenzie (13-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) at featherweight; Steven Siler (21-10 MMA, 3-1 UFC) takes on Jimy Hettes (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at 145 pounds; and Strikeforce vets Ovince St. Preux (12-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Gian Villante (10-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will clash at light heavyweight.

UFC officials on Monday night made the four bouts official.

UFC 159 takes place April 27 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The main card, including a main event between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.

McMann and Gaff will be just the third women’s fight in UFC history. Bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey this past month defended her inaugural title against Liz Carmouche. And former Strikeforce champ Miesha Tate meets Cat Zingano two weeks prior to the McMann-Gaff bout. McMann won silver in wrestling at the 2004 Olympics and thus far is unbeaten in MMA. Gaff, like McMann, will be making her UFC debut. The German brings a three-fight win streak into the promotion, but fights for the first time in more than a year.

Garcia and McKenzie meet in a bout that was booked for UFC 155 in December before McKenzie had to withdraw from the card with an injury. Garcia instead fought Max Holloway and dropped a split decision to fall to 1-4 in his past five fights. But Garcia has been a mainstay under the Zuffa banner in part thanks to six “Fight of the Night” wins in the UFC and WEC. McKenzie has been out of action since this past July, when he was knocked out by Chad Mendes at UFC 148 to fall to 1-3 in his past four fights.

Siler and Hettes also meet in a bout that was previously scheduled. The two were booked for a meeting this past June at UFC on FX 4, but Hettes was forced out with an injury. “TUF 14? semifinalist Siler in November dropped his first fight in the UFC with a unanimous decision loss to Darren Elkins. Before that, he had started 3-0 in the promotion. Hettes started his UFC career with back-to-back wins, but in September he dropped a decision to Marcus Brimage for the first loss of his career.

St. Preux went 6-1 for Strikeforce with just a loss to former champ Gegard Mousasi keeping him from perfection in the promotion. He knocked out T.J. Cook this past August. Villante gets to fight in front of his home area fans. The New York native and former champ for the New Jersey-based Ring of Combat closed out his Strikeforce career with three straight wins.

The latest UFC 159 card includes:

  • Champ Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen – for light-heavyweight title
  • Alan Belcher vs. Michael Bisping
  • Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes
  • Pat Healy vs. Jim Miller
  • Cheick Kongo vs. Roy Nelson
  • Sheila Gaff vs. Sara McMann
  • Nick Catone vs. James Head
  • Jimy Hettes vs. Steven Siler
  • Leonard Garcia vs. Cody McKenzie
  • Al Iaquinta vs. Joe Proctor
  • Ovince St. Preux vs. Gian Villante
  • Rustam Khabilov vs. Yancy Medeiros

For more on UFC 159, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Leonard Garcia)

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