With the UFC making its long-awaited debut on Fox Sports 1 next weekend, there’s been a slew of fights announced to get us excited for the rest of the year. The UFC is set to become even more prolific over the next few months, reintroducing midweek “Fight Nights” to complement their Fox and Pay-Per-View programming. Keep it here for the latest on fight announcements and injury replacements.
UFC Fight Night 28
Joao Zeferino v. Elias Silverio (Kenny Robertson injured)
With Kenny Robertson being removed from the card due to injury, Jungle Fight welterweight champion Elias Silverio has been given the opportunity to face fellow Brazilian Joao Zeferino in his octagon debut. Zeferino looks to rebound from his own promotional debut, a loss to veteran Rafael Natal.
Felipe Arantes v. Edimilson Souza (Sam Sicilia injured)
Arantes makes his 5th octagon appearance, all of which have taken place in his native Brazil. The injury to TUF competitor Sam Sicilia allows Jungle Fight featherweight champion Edimilson “Kevin” Souza the opportunity to compete in the octagon. Arantes looked on point in his last match against Godofredo Pepey, and looks to build upon his 2-1-1 UFC record.
UFC Fight Night 29
Erick Silva v. Dong Hyun Kim
Rising welterweights square off in Brazil, as former Jungle Fight welterweight champion Erick Silva faces Korean judoka Dong Hyun Kim. Silva has earned “of the night” bonuses in each of his last three fights, and looks to work his way up the ranks. Kim has looked dominant in his last two bouts after sustaining a fluke injury against Demian Maia a year ago. This will be an important match to see who can make a push for a top-10 ranking in the division.
Rony Jason v. Jeremy Stephens
Rony “Jason” Bezerra is increasingly popular in his native country, going 2-0 in the UFC since winning the first season of TUF: Brazil. He’ll take a step up in competition, facing off against tenured UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens. “Lil’ Heathen” snapped a three-fight losing streak against Estevan Payan at UFC 160, and looks to continue his new momentum with a win over his tough Brazilian opponent.
Charles Oliveira v. Estevan Payan
Oliveira put up a valiant effort, but ultimately came up short against Frankie Edgar at UFC 162. That’s two losses in a row for the talented young Brazilian, who will look to rebound in his next performance. Payan had a rough outing in his UFC debut against Jeremy Stephens, as he was badly cut over the eye in the first round, and spent the rest of the fight on his back. He’s shown the ability to finish fights with both strikes and submissions, but will face a difficult test in Oliveira.
Matt Grice v. Jeremy Larsen
Grice put on a “fight of the night” and potential “fight of the year” performance against Dennis Bermudez, but his record is just 2-5 during his two stints with the UFC. Larsen is 0-2 since joining the promotion, so the loser of this match can expect to get a pink slip. Look for both competitors to put on a gritty performance as they fight to stay with the organization.
UFC Fight Night 30
John Lineker v. Phil Harris
In the shallow flyweight division, a few impressive wins can immediately put you into title contention. Lineker has put together three straight, but his difficulty making weight has limited his rise. He’ll take on fellow veteran Phil Harris in a bout to determine who moves one step closer to contender status. Harris has gone 1-1 since joining the promotion, winning his last fight by unanimous decision against Ulysses Gomez.
Paul Taylor v. Anthony Njokuani
Taylor returns to the UFC after almost three years on the shelf due to injury. He’ll be able to compete in his home country of England, facing the talented kickboxer Anthony Njokuani. The two were initially set to face off back in November of 2011, but an injury sustained in a traffic collision forced Taylor out of the bout. Injury again forced Taylor out of a rescheduled match in July of 2012, so let’s hope the third try is the charm.
Jimi Manuwa v. Ryan Jimmo
With an undefeated 13-0 record, Jimi Manuwa looks to make an impact in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. Jimmo tied the record for fastest knockout in UFC history in his promotional debut, and the powerful Canadian hopes to put the first blemish on Manuwa’s record. Both have several stoppage victories to their name, so don’t expect this one to go the full three rounds.
Melvin Guillard v. Ross Pearson
Fresh off a spectacular knockout win over Mac Danzig, Melvin Guillard has been scheduled to compete in the co-main event of the evening against England’s own Ross Pearson. Both men appeared on different seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter,” with Pearson winning season 9. Guillard, 2-4 as of late, must find some consistency if he is to protect his job. Pearson is 2-0 after returning to lightweight, and looks to stake his claim as a top-10 competitor.