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The main card featured Lightweight Champion Pat Miletich defending his title against John Alessio, and Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman defending his title against Pedro Rizzo. The Heavyweight Championship bout was first scheduled to take place at UFC 24, but was rescheduled due to a backstage accident involving Kevin Randleman, who slipped and fell on the concrete floor, sustaining a concussion.
A bantamweight division was added at UFC 26 for fighters under 155 pounds; Jens Pulver defeated Joao Roque in the first ever UFC bantamweight bout. Lightweight was now 155-169.9 pounds, Middleweight 170-199.9 pounds, and Heavyweight 200+ pounds. This was the fourth event to feature now-regular referee, Mario Yamasaki in addition to "Big" John McCarthy.
UFC 26 featured the second appearance of Matt Hughes in the UFC, who would go on to dominate the welterweight division. The event also marked the second UFC appearance of British fighter Ian Freeman, whose preliminary bout was shown on the live pay per view broadcast. This is the first event where Bruce Buffer, in his 18th appearance, coins the term "We are live" to begin the UFC card as well as saying, "The judges are ready, the fighters are ready, the great fans of (insert city) and the millions of fans around the world are ready...".
UFC 26 was the fourth straight UFC event to have never received a home video or DVD release in the US, as the UFC's parent company SEG was incurring financial difficulties, and would eventually sell the company to Zuffa just six months later.
- Welterweight bout: Shonie Carter vs. Adrian Serrano
- Carter wins by unanimous decision at 10:00.
- Heavyweight bout: Ian Freeman vs. Nate Schroeder
- Freeman wins by submission due to strikes at 2:13 of the second round.
- Pulver wins by unanimous decision at 15:00.
- Welterweight bout: Matt Hughes vs. Marcelo Aguiar
- Hughes wins by TKO (Doctor stoppage due to cut) at 4:34 of the first round.
- Light Heavyweight bout: Amaury Bitetti vs. Alex Andrade
- Bitetti wins by disqualification at 0:43 of the second round. Iowa MMA rules banned kicking while wearing shoes. Andrade, wearing wrestling shoes, kicked Bitetti three times. Andrade was disqualified by referee Big John McCarthy.
- Middleweight bout: Tyrone Roberts vs. David Dodd
- Roberts wins by unanimous decision at 15:00.
- Miletich wins by submission (armbar) at 1:43 of the second round.
- Randleman wins by unanimous decision at 25:00.
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