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Franics Ngannou vs. Junior Dos Santos official for UFC 215

Matthew Wells

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We have ourselves quite a fight in the big boy division at UFC 215.

On September 9, 2017 at the Rogers Place in Edmonton, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos (18-5) will take on the rising star with hellacious power, Francis Ngannou (10-1).

Danny Austin of Postmedia was the first to report the news of this incredible matchup expected to serve as the co-main event of UFC 215.

For Dos Santos, this fight represents another opportunity to get back on the tract to consistency. The former champ has traded wins and losses over his last eight appearances inside the Octagon, which speaks to the volatility of the heavyweight division. After defeating Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 86 in one of his best performances in recent memory, Dos Santos was rewarded with a title shot against Stipe Miocic at UFC 211 in Dallas, Texas. Unfortunately for Dos Santos he would be finished in the first round in a heartbreaking loss.

Dos Santos finds himself in another marquee slot on a Pay-Per-View, although this time not against a champion nor veteran of the division, but against a man that has rapidly climbed the ranks and who believe will be wearing the strap in the near future.

Ngannou has taken the UFC’s heavyweight division by storm. The Cameroonian recently made a permanent move to Las Vegas, Nevada to elevate his training to the next level as he acends the ranks in the UFC. With five walks to the Octagon under his belt, all coming by way of early stoppage, Ngannou is ready for the upper echelon of competition. Luis Henrique, Curtis Blaydes, Bojan Mihaljovic, Anthony Hamilton, and Andrea Arlovski have all fallen to N’Gannou, who finds himself matched up against his toughest opponent to date in Dos Santos.

The UFC also announced Tyson Pedro (6-0) will take on Ilir Latifi (12-5) at UFC 215 as well.

Pedro has been on a tear himself since entering the UFC, finishing both of his fights in the first round. Latifi, who was on a three-fight winning streak before falling to Ryan Bader, will look to get back on the winning track.

UFC 215’s lineup is currently as follows:

  • Junior dos Santos vs. Francis N’Gannou
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
  • Gavin Tucker vs. Rick Glenn
  • Sarah Moras vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith
  • Luis Henrique vs. Arjan Bhullar

 

 

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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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