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Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw Bantamweight Title Fight official for UFC 217

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Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw is finally set to happen. Wednesday night it was announced on FS1’s “UFC Tonight” that the fight was official for UFC 217 as the co-main event. The two were originally supposed to fight at UFC 213 after they appeared as coaches on TUF 25.

Cody Garbrandt last fought at UFC 207 where he beat Dominick Cruz, by unanimous decision, for the bantamweight title. A series of injuries has continued to derail Garbrandt’s attempts at defending the title. A serious back injury that required surgery, led to his fight being cancelled at UFC 213.

TJ Dillashaw’s last fight was also at UFC 207 where he beat the Brazilian brawler John Lineker by dominant decision. Dillashaw is currently riding on a two fight win streak with another win coming against Raphael Assuncao.

The two fighters used to be teammates at Team Alpha Male before Dillashaw left to join former coach Duane Ludwig at Elevation Fight Team in Colorado. Fights with Urijah Faber and Cody Garbrandt had been talked about since the split but none seemed realistic unless a title was on the line.

Garbrandt became only the second man to defeat dominant bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz in a fight that was largely seen as his coming out party. Cody dropped the champion multiple times en route to a unanimous decision.

Dillashaw called out the winner of the fight between Cruz-Dillashaw and even went a far to say things were “rigged” if he didn’t get the next title shot.

The two bantamweights’ feud continued to get worse as they became coaches on season 25 of The Ultimate Fighter. The two men’s images changed in the eyes of the public after appearing on the show. Fans became more sympathetic of TJ Dillashaw as they felt Cody was more of the instigator between the two.

UFC 217 will be headlined by a middleweight title fight between current champ Michael Bisping and former welterweight champion Georges ST-Pierre. Other fights announced for the card are Curtis Blaydes vs Oleksiy Oliynyk, Corey Anderson vs Patrick Cummins, and Aiemann Zahabi vs Ricardo Ramos.

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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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