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Carlos Condit puts the breaks on retirement talk and is set to face Demian Maia at UFC202

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The last time we heard from a heartbroken Carlos Condit he spoke of a desire to retire from the sport of mixed martial arts. This shock announcement came after a gruelling five round war with current welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.

After coming up short in a razor thin decision loss at UFC195 in January “The Natural Born Killer” initially expressed his desire for a rematch with the champ due to the close nature of the first bout between the pair.

The long-time top contender spoke at length during the post-fight press conference about a hot topic in MMA; head trauma. When fielding questions from the assorted media Condit discussed the dangers of prolonging a career in a sport that is unforgiving to those who hang around for too long. In his mind, the only way he would return for another outing in the Octagon would be a high profile championship rematch that many felt he deserved.

As the months wore on it became clear that Condit would not get his wish. Before long it was announced that Tyron Woodley would challenge Lawler next and with men like Stephen Thompson waiting in the wings for the winner the path to the title was becoming increasingly obscure. Sadly it seemed like this would spell an end to a career that had seen plenty of highs and lows inside the cage.

However more recently Carlos began to indicate that a potential return was on the cards. At first, rumours began to swirl that the second clash with Nick Diaz may be an option for his return. A high profile bout like this would surely tempt the always exciting Condit back to the cage. In the end however, it was not a fight with Diaz that prompted a return but a matchup with surging contender Demian Maia at UFC202 in August. The news was first reported by Rick Wright of the Albuquerque Journal and confirmed by the UFC.

Arguably the greatest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner in MMA history Maia has torn through his past five opponents since losing to Rory MacDonald in 2014. Most recently Maia snared Matt Brown in his vice-like rear naked choke after spending three rounds glued to Brown’s back.

Unquestionably Demian is deserving of a title shot at this stage but due to the spectacular nature of “Wonderboy’ Thompson’s recent run, he will have to go through one more beast to get a chance at the sport’s top prize.

Stylistically this is one of the most appealing welterweight contests that the UFC could put on, on a card that is already headlined by the rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor and also features the likes of Anthony Rumble Johnson and Donald Cerrone.

UFC202 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Nevada on August 20th. Follow MMALatestNews.com for more fight announcements and news surrounding the card in the coming weeks.

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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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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.

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.

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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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.)

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

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Mark Hunt Returns to Fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221

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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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