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Cris Cyborg vs. Cat Zingano in the Works for UFC 214



Cris Cyborg

Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino has not set foot in the UFC’s octagon since a September 2016 destruction of Lina Lansberg in Brasilia. After much speculation, it now seems that the best featherweight on the planet has her next assignment, and it comes in the form of struggling bantamweight Cat Zingano. Brazilian outlet Combate reported the booking on Friday.

It is only the second fight scheduled for the newly created women’s featherweight division. The first was a championship bout between bantamweights Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208. It was de Randamie who emerged the victor.

Yet talk of a first title defence for the new champion has been rare, with reports even surfacing that de Randamie might eventually vacate the title due to commitments away from the sport.

Meanwhile, Cyborg, considered by most to be the legitimate champion at featherweight, has been waiting on the sidelines impatiently. First, the Brazilian was suspended by USADA after testing positive for spironolactone. Then the suspension was lifted when the fighter was issued with a retroactive therapeutic use exemption.

That paved the way for a quick return to the cage, and Cyborg has been campaigning for a title fight at 145 pounds ever since.

It now seems that de Randamie will not be the opponent, and it is unknown at this time whether an interim title will be on the line when Cyborg steps into the cage to face Zingano.

The one-time bantamweight title challenger has struggled for momentum in recent years. After being embarrassed by Ronda Rousey in February 2015, losing in only 14 seconds, Zingano eventually returned to the cage at UFC 200. It was not a happy return for the once highly regarded fighter, disappointing in defeat against Julianna Pena. Zingano has not fought since.

If the reports are true and Cyborg and Zingano are meeting at UFC 214, it means the efforts of Invicta FC featherweight champion Megan Anderson to secure a bout for the true lineal featherweight title have been in vain.

Anderson has positioned herself as the most notable 145-pound star outside of the UFC with a series of destructive performances, and a smart and outspoken persona.

It should be noted that neither the UFC or the fighters involved have confirmed the bout as yet, and attempts made by MMA Latest to reach out to both parties have not yet received a response.

Posts made from Cyborg’s social media accounts after the fight was reported also suggest that she would prefer a bout with Anderson over Zingano.

UFC 214 takes place July 29 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Confirmed for the card is a light-heavyweight championship rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones.

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Fight Announcements

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.

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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Fight Announcements

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.)

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



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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