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Montana's Marnic Mann to make UFC debut at UFC Fight Night

Marnic Mann.jpg
Posted at 1:05 PM, Sep 08, 2023

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a correction to an error. Ariel Beck was the first woman from Montana to fight at an official UFC event. Beck fought on the The Ultimate Fighter TV show on July 27, 2017 and then made her UFC debut on Dec. 1, 2017 at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale in a professional bout. The previous story incorrectly said Marnic Mann is the first woman from Montana to fight in the UFC, and she is now the second woman from Montana slated to fight at an official UFC event behind Beck.

MISSOULA — Another Montanan is getting their shot in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Marnic Mann, a Kalispell native who currently lives and trains out of Bozeman, has signed as a late replacement fighter for the upcoming UFC Fight Night event on Sept. 16 in Las Vegas. Reports surfaced late Thursday that Mann had signed with the promotion, and the UFC's official website has her bout listed for the event.

With her signing — and when she steps into the Octagon for her promotional debut — Mann will become the second woman from Montana to fight in the UFC, with Butte's Ariel Beck the first.

It's a big moment and bounce-back opportunity for Mann. The Flathead Valley product competed on Dana White's Contender Series almost exactly a year ago in search of a UFC contract, but Mann lost the bout via head kick knockout in the second round to Bruna Brasil. The loss was the first for Mann as a professional.

Mann has since reentered the win column to get back on track when she defeated Amber Brown by unanimous decision back in April at LFA 157.

Currently 6-1 as a professional, Mann, 30, now gets her opportunity to fight on the largest stage globally for mixed martial arts. She is slated to fight Josefine Knutsson of Sweden, who is 6-0 as a pro and is coming off of a win on the Dana White's Contender Series in August.

While both typically fight at strawweight (115 pounds), the fight is reported to take place at a catchweight bout of 120 pounds.

Mann joins the likes of Helena native Sean O'Malley as current Montanans fighting in the UFC. O'Malley recently made history as the first Treasure State native to win a UFC title when he defeated Aljamain Sterling in Boston back in August for the men's bantamweight belt.

Mann's addition to the UFC roster adds to what's been an exclusive club of fighters with Montana ties to fight in MMA's largest promotion. Poplar native Hunter Azure has competed in the UFC as well as on The Ultimate Fighter TV show.

Others like Montana de la Rosa (Helena) and Keith Jardine (Butte) were born in Montana but grew up elsewhere.

Sept. 16 will be the Noche UFC event for the promotion to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. Taking place at T-Mobile Arena, the event is headlined by women's flyweight champion Alexa Grasso who will defend her belt against Valentina Shevchenko, the former champion. Grasso defeated Shevchenko back in March to win the title in what was a major upset in the UFC.