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Donald Cerrone vs Jorge Masvidal set for UFC on Fox 23

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After a persistent public request to fight in his hometown of Denver, Colorado on January 28th, Donald Cerrone looks set to get his wish for a quick 49-day turnaround.

In a bout on paper that will surely make the list for ones to watch to begin 2017, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is set to face off against Jorge Masvidal at UFC on Fox 23. After being first reported by MMAFighting.com, Cerrone all but confirmed the fight on his Twitter account which would mark his fifth welterweight fight under the UFC banner and his sixth fight in just over a year.

Both Cerrone and Masvidal have gone back and forth on social media in recent weeks after Cerrone made an open challenge to anyone who could face him at 170 pounds on seven weeks notice with ‘Gamebred’ more than eager to take him up on his word.

Cerrone (32-7, 1 NC) fought as recently as Saturday night at UFC 206 and improved his win streak to four since a move up to welterweight with a stunning head kick knockout over Matt Brown. Cerrone is currently ranked at #5 in the UFC welterweight rankings and has looked better than ever since the change in weight class.

Another former UFC lightweight fighter, Masvidal (31-11) is currently on a two-fight win streak at 170 pounds and most recently defeated Jake Ellenberger in bizarre fashion at The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions Finale. After a fine first round performance where Masvidal staggered his opponent on the feet, Ellenberger’s foot was caught in the cage with Masvidal on top landing punches, which ultimately causing a TKO victory for the American Top Team fighter. Masvidal is currently ranked at number 15 in the UFC’s welterweight rankings.

UFC on Fox 23 is currently slated to be headlined by Julianna Peña vs Valentina Shevchenko and will also feature a middleweight clash between Hector Lombard and Brad Tavares with the rescheduled bout between Raphael Assuncao and Aljamain Sterling also slated for the January 28th event. The card currently looks as follows:

UFC on Fox 23 (Card subject to change):

  • Valentina Shevchenko vs Julianna Peña
  • Hector Lombard vs Brad Tavares
  • Jason Gonzalez vs J.C. Cottrell
  • Sam Alvey vs Nate Marquardt
  • Eric Shelton vs Alexandre Pantoja
  • Raphael Assuncao vs Aljamain Sterling
  • Donald Cerrone vs Jorge Masvidal
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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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Fight Announcements

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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