Nate Diaz beamed with pride while smiling as The Forum exploded with cheers when Diaz versus McGregor 2 was announced for UFC 202 on August 30.
Tonight, the event took more shape with a main card molding announcement.
Officially made known by the UFC, light heavyweights Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (21-5, 12-5 in UFC) and Glover Teixeira (25-4, 8-2 in UFC) will serve as the co-main event while Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (30-7, 17-4 in UFC) will test his luck against Rick “The Horror” Story (19-8, 12-6 in UFC) in the welterweight division.
Johnson, 32, was thought to be the next title contender following a quick 88-second TKO of Ryan Bader earlier in the year. However, the 36-year old Glover Teixeira threw his name into the conversation with an equally fast finish of former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashard Evans, ultimately setting up a matchup between the two victors on July 23 at UFC on FOX 20 in Chicago.
Due to Rumble withdrawing in what was identified as “a serious family issue,” the aforementioned date was wiped from the bout. Nevertheless, the MMA community shall not be deprived, for the two knockout artists will now compete to likely face the winner of UFC 200’s main event between champion Daniel Cormier and Interim Champion, Jon Jones. Since the beginning of 2015, Johnson and Teixeira combine for a 6-1 record with Johnson suffering the only loss at UFC 187 versus Cormier.
On the welterweight side, the spry Cowboy will ride on and eyes a 3-0 start at 170 pounds versus Rick Story. The last loss for the 33-year old Donald Cerrone came in a lightweight title bout versus Rafael dos Anjos. Since that disappointing outing, he has racked up two “Performance of the Night” finishes over Alex Oliveira and Patrick Cote, with the latter coming on June 18 in the promotion’s last event.
His opponent, Story, 31, is entering with a three-fight win streak that includes Gunnar Nelson and Tarec Saffiedine. The Washington native’s last two victories were via decision.
UFC 202 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 30th, headlined by a welterweight rematch between Nate Diaz and current featherweight champion Conor McGregor.
Other fights on the card include:
- (C – Featherweight) Conor McGregor (19-3, 7-1 UFC) vs. (#5 – Lightweight) Nate Diaz (19-10, 14-8 UFC)
- #2 Anthony Johnson (21-5, 12-5 in UFC) vs. #3 Glover Teixeira (25-4, 8-2 in UFC)
- #14 Donald Cerrone (30-7, 17-4 in UFC) vs. #9 Rick Story (19-8, 12-6 in UFC)
- Hyun Gyu Lim (13-5-1, 3-2 in UFC) vs. Sultan Aliev (13-2, 0-1 in UFC)
Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando
The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 14, 2017
Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.
It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.
Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.
In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.
Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.
In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.
UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.
Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.
First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)
EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me that Eryk Anders (@erykanders) has gotten his wish. He'll headline UFC Fight Night: Belem against Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) in Brazil. Ask and you shall receive. #UFC pic.twitter.com/qX62A9qH6k
— The MMA Kings (Nolan King) (@mma_kings) December 14, 2017
Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.
Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.
Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.
In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.
UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira.
Mark Hunt Returns to Fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221
UFC 221 in Perth has officially added a another Australian to the main card. Joining Robert Whittaker is the knockout legend Mark Hunt.
The Daily Telegraph first reported that Hunt will be stepping into the octagon to face #9 Curtis Blaydes. Some weren’t sure if we would ever see Hunt fight again after he was pulled from the main event in UFC Fight Night 21 against Marcin Tybura. The UFC removed him due to “medical concerns” while Hunt was stating he was perfectly fine.
After getting evaluated and cleared to fight by Australian and American doctors, it looks like his time has come to return. Hunt’s last fight was back in June when he derailed the Derrick Lewis hype train with a 4th round TKO win.
Hunt had been adamant about calling out #3 ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and trying to get that rematch booked, labelling Werdum a “chicken shit” and a “coward.”
Curtis “Razor” Blaydes who has an 8-1 record, is coming off a TKO victory due to doctor stoppage at UFC 217 in November. Since losing to now title challenger Francis Ngannou in April of 2016, Blaydes has rattled off three straight wins over Alexey Oleynik, Daniel Omielanczuk, and Cody East.
With all this momentum from the win streak, Blaydes looks to capitalize and win the biggest fight of his career against Hunt.
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