Thursday, February 22, 2024  |



Precocious Max Ornelas faces Alex Rangel on UFC Fight Pass card

Photo courtesy of
Fighters Network

Bantamweight prospect Max Ornelas may be only 20 years old, but he is fighting beyond his age.

That could spell trouble for the division in the next couple of years if he continues to win impressively.

Ornelas will square off against veteran Alex Rangel Thursday night at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona. The eight-round bout will precede the main event bout between featherweight Ikram Kermat and veteran Simone Aparecida Da Silva of Brazil.

Both fights will stream live on UFC Fight Pass (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).

Ornelas (12-0-1, 4 knockouts) has not fought since defeating Raymond Tabugon over eight one-sided rounds on Aug. 10 in his hometown of Las Vegas. The fight came less than four months after outpointing former prospect Juan Antonio Lopez.

Ornelas will turn 21 on June 11, but his team, which includes promoter Roy Jones Jr. has been impressed with his progression since his pro debut, which took place one day before his 18th birthday.

“I’m excited to see Max back,” Roy Jones Jr. matchmaker Guy Taylor told The Ring on Monday. “We have definitely seen his evolvement from the time he made his pro debut until now as he’s the No. 11 bantamweight in the world by the WBO.”

“UFC Fight Pass is the perfect global combat platform for Ornelas to showcase his skills and ability,” added Taylor.

Rangel (17-9-4, 11 KOs), who resides in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, was stopped by unbeaten Jarico O’Quinn in round three of his last bout on Feb. 8 in Detroit. The 28-year-old Rangel in winless in his last five bouts.

Ornelas weighed in at 118.8 pounds at Wednesday’s weigh-in while Rangel was at 120.6 pounds.

Kermat (9-1, 5 KOs) is originally from Tunisia and now resides in Frankfurt, Germany. The 35-year-old Kermat, who is trained by Roy Jones Jr., has won her last three bouts since losing her only bout at the hands of Ramona Kuehne in July of 2016.

Da Silva (15-12, 6 KOs) has lost eight of her last nine bouts.

The fight of the night could be a six-round bout between junior welterweights Alfonso Olvera (11-5-2, 4 KOs) and Carlos Villa (14-3-1, 6 KOs) of El Paso, Texas.

Olvera, who resides in Tucson and has a significant following, will be fighting for the fifth time at the Casino Del Sol.

Nicholas Rhoads (5-0, 2 KOs), who also resides in Tucson, will face Phoenix’s Eduardo Ayala (4-0, 1 KO) in a four-round middleweight bout.

Opening the UFC Fight Pass stream will be a four-round light heavyweight bout between former UFC fighter Joe Riggs, who will be making his pro debut, and David Damore (1-6-3).

Junior middleweight prospect Madiyar Ashkeyev, who is originally from Kazakhstan and now resides in the boxing hotbed of Oxnard, California, will face former fringe contender Cecil McCalla (21-3, 8 KOs) in a 10-round bout.

Arturo Resendiz (2-0, 2 KOs) and Jose Pena (2-1, 1 KO) will square off in a four-bout bout between Tucson middleweights.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing