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UFC 201 Adds Strawweight Bout

Vinny Craig

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Surging UFC strawweight contender Rose ‘Thug’ Namajunas will take on undefeated Polish prospect Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 201 in Atlanta, Georgia. The bout was first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and confirmed by UFC officials.

Namajunas was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 20 along with 15 other Strawweights. After being installed as seventh seed, she roared through the competition with a Rear-Naked choke over Alex Chambers, followed by Kimura wins over Joanne Calderwood and Randa Markos to make it to the finals for a chance at the title. She would come up short on that occasion, being submitted by Carla Esparza.

She made her return to the Octagon at UFC 192 with a Rear-Naked choke victory over Angela Hill. After Calderwood was forced out of her bout with Paige VanZant in the main event of Fight Night 80, Namajunas stepped in. She would dominate for four rounds before a fifth round Rear-Naked choke win. That was followed by her most recent fight – a decision win over a former opponent in Tecia Torres at UFC on Fox 19 in April.

Kowalkiewicz is undefeated in her career with nine straight wins, three by stoppage. The former KSW Flyweight champion first fought for the UFC at UFC on Fox 17 where she faced Randa Markos. The decision went the way of the Pole as she kept her undefeated record. She returned to face Heather Jo Clark at UFC Fight Night Rotterdam and landed 119 significant strikes en route to a decision win over Clark.

UFC 201 will take place on July 30 from Atlanta, Georgia, With the addition of this bout, the lineup now for UFC 201 currently looks as follows:

UFC 201 (Bout Order TBC)

  • Robbie Lawler (c) vs. Tyron Woodley- UFC Welterweight Title
  • Demetrius Johnson  (c) vs. Wilson Reis- UFC Flyweight Title
  • Cesar Arzemendia vs. Damien Brown
  • Michael Graves vs. Bojan Velickovic
  • Francisco Rivera vs. Erik Perez
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Damien Grabowksi
  • Matt Brown vs. Jake Ellenberger
  • Ed Herman vs. Nikita Krylov
  • Ian McCall vs. Justin Scoggins
  • Rose Namajunas vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
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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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