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Gunnar Nelson out of UFC Belfast, Mousasi/Hall 2 named main event

Peyton Wesner

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UFC Belfast has a new main event. According to Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting, adopted Irishman Gunnar Nelson is injured and has been forced out of his main event bout at UFC Fight Night 99 against Dong Hyun Kim. Stepping into the main event slot will be a middleweight rematch between Gegard Mousasi and Uriah Hall.

Mousasi, who had recently mentioned Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz as desired opponents, will enter the bout on a three-fight winning streak, most recently earning a 2nd round TKO victory over Vitor Belfort at UFC 204. Gegard Mousasi (40-6-2, 7-3 in UFC) holds a 5-1 record over the past two years with two “Performance of the Night” bonuses and a TKO win over Dan Henderson. His one loss, however, came by way of a highlight reel knockout, the sole KO loss of his career, to the man he faces on November 19th, Uriah Hall.

Since his victory over Mousasi, Hall has stumbled on his planned ascent up the division. The 32-year old was defeated by Robert Whittaker via unanimous decision last November before quickly being knocked out by Derek Brunson on September 19. Hall did have a highly anticipated fight versus Anderson Silva scheduled for UFC 198 in May, but was pulled from the card when “The Spider” underwent gall bladder surgery the week of the fight. Over the last 12 months, Hall’s ranking has dropped and he currently sits at #10 in the division.

UFC Belfast will take place on November 19th from Belfast, Northern Ireland. With the new main event of Mousasi vs Hall, the card currently looks as follows:

UFC Belfast (Bout Order TBC)

  • Gegard Mousasi vs Uriah Hall
  • Ross Pearson vs James Krause
  • Timothy Johnson vs Alexander Volkov
  • Artem Lobov vs Teruto Ishihara
  • Ian McCall vs Neil Seery
  • Magnus Cedenblad vs Jack Marshman
  • Kyoji Horiguchi vs Ali Bagautinov
  • Kevin Lee vs Magomed Mustafaev
  • Anna Elmose vs Amanda Cooper
  • Justin Ledet vs Mark Godbeer
  • Zak Cummings vs Alexander Yakovlev
  • Marion Reneau vs Milana Dudieva
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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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