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Chris Weidman vs Gegard Mousasi set for UFC 210 in Buffalo, New York

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For the third time since the bill was passed legalizing MMA in the state of New York, The UFC will return for a Pay-Per-View. This time emanating from the KeyBank Arena in Buffalo, New York on April 8th for UFC 210.

Today, the promotion announced the first confirmed fight for the event, as top 5 ranked middleweights are set for action, with #5 Gegard Mousasi (41-6) set to take on New York state’s own #4 Chris ‘The All-American’ Weidman (13-2).

2016 was not a year to remember for the former middleweight champion, as Weidman was due for a rematch against Luke Rockhold, the same person he lost his title to the previous November, but had to pull out of the rematch scheduled for June, due to a Cervical Disc Herniation, which allowed Brit Michael Bisping to step in and claim the gold.

The loss to Rockhold was his first in his career, but the All-American looked to redeem himself as the UFC was due to have its first show in New York since the bill passed. Weidman in his home state was up against Middleweight powerhouse Yoel Romero, but a home win wasn’t written in the stars for Weidman, as Romero would land a flying knee to the head, which gave Romero the KO victory.

With his first two losses of his career coming in quick succession, and both hard pills to lose, as one loss gave his title to another competitor, and one in his home state. But the #4 ranked middleweight will look to get 2017 off to a good start, again in his home state as he goes up against #5 Gegard Mousasi.

In contrast, Mousasi’s 2016 was full of positives, not only did the Iranian fight four times during the year, he also won each of those four fights.

The Dreamcatcher would start the year in London, where he went to a Unanimous decision victory over Thales Leites, he would then go on to finish each of his next three, without seeing the third round.

He would continue the year at UFC 200, earning a performance of the night victory over Thiago Santos, then would follow that with two more KO/TKO victories over Vitor Belfort, and then getting a win over Urijah Hall, who he had lost to the previous year.

This fight is a perfect opportunity for each fighter to put their name in the hat to face Bisping for a UFC Title shot, with both placing so high in the rankings, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this was indeed an elimination fight for a future title shot.

With it being in Buffalo, it will definitely be a fight both would want to win for differing reasons, with Weidman back in front of a home crowd, and looking to get back into winning ways, and for a Mousasi a chance to go up against a former champion and continue his excellent form from 2016.

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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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