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UFC 214 adds three exciting fights: Barao vs. Sterling, Lamas vs. Korean Zombie, Northcutt vs. Puelles

Matthew Wells

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A trio of exciting matchups has been officially announced for UFC 214.

The event takes place on July 29 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California and is headlined by the long-awaited return of Jon Jones as he takes on Daniel Cormier for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

In addition to the highly anticipated main event, the UFC have added three fights that will add serious depth to the lineup.

#3 Ricardo Lamas (17-5, 8-3 UFC) vs. #5 “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (14-4, 4-1 UFC) 

Lamas will attempt to string a pair of wins together for the first time since 2014. While he has traded wins and losses over his past 4 fights, Lamas will carry the momentum of a second-round submission victory over Charles Oliveria into the cage with him at UFC 214. Utilizing his wrestling base, Lamas kept the pressure high on Oliveria before securing the tap, earning a Performance of the Night Bonus.

The Korean Zombie returned to action after mandatory military service at UFC Fight Night 104 with a fast TKO finish of Dennis Bermudez on Super Bowl weekend. It was the first time since his title loss to Jose Aldo in 2013 that Jung competed in the UFC, and looked as if he never lost a step by displaying constant pressure before landing the punch to drop Bermudez. Jung would take away a Performance of the Night bonus for his impressive return.

While Frankie Edgar will most likely get the next shot at the winner of Max Holloway and Jose Aldo taking place at UFC 212, the winner of this matchup will certainly be next in line behind him.

#8 Aljamain Sterling (13-2, 5-2 UFC) vs. #15 Renan Barao (34-4, 9-3 UFC) 

Sterling found his way back into the win column after dropping two fights in a row against some of the stiffest competition the bantamweight division has to offer. Both losses to Bryan Caraway and Raphael Assuncao were split decisions in very competitive fights. Sterling showed improvements in his striking and mixing in takedowns to earn the nod on the judge’s cards. While Sterling is still building as a fighter, he has a dangerous repertoire of kicks and slick submission skills on the mat.

Barao, former UFC Bantamweight Champion, will look to find success in his return to 135. After a pair of contests at featherweight due to weight issues, it appears the former champion is ready to make the cut again. Barao lost his title rematch to T.J. Dillashaw at UFC on FOX 16 and then moved up to 145 to face Jeremy Stephens where he would suffer his second loss in a row. Barao rebounded nicely with a unanimous decision victory over Phillipe Nover at UFC Fight Night 95 in Brazil. Approaching 40 professional fights, Barao’s experience could be an important aspect of this matchup.

Sage Northcutt (8-2, 3-2 UFC) vs. Claudio Puelles (7-2, 0-1 UFC)

Northcutt makes his return to the Octagon since his second-round loss to Mickey Gall at UFC on FOX 22 in December. One of the most marketed fighters on the roster, Northcutt displayed more aggression than previously seen in the loss to Gall, proving he’s becoming more confident in his abilities inside the Octagon.

Puelles will make his second UFC appearance in this matchup against Northcutt. His UFC debut came at UFC Fight Night 98 in November, albeit a losing effort against Martin Bravo. With a professional record of 7-2 at 21 years of age, Puelles is still developing as a fighter. Before his UFC debut, Puelles finished both of his previous opponents in the first round, earning him a shot on the big stage.

Confirmed bouts for UFC 214 include:

  • (C)Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones
  • #13 Dooho Choi vs. Andre Fili
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas vs. #5 Chan Sung Jung
  • #8 Aljamain Sterling vs. #15 Renan Barao
  • Kailin Curran vs. Alexandra Albu
  • Joshua Burkman vs. Drew Dober
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Eric Shelton vs. Jarred Brooks

Stay tuned for further announcements as this card continues to take shape.

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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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