A pair of main event announcements, including the UFC’s first headlining bout in Berlin, Germany, begin today’s fight round-up.
UFC Fight Night 41
A middleweight bout between Gegard Mousasi and Mark Munoz is slate to headline UFC Fight Night 41, the promotion’s first-ever trip to Berlin.
Munoz (13-4) looks to recover from a loss to Lyoto Machida this past October. “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” suffered a first-round knockout to Machida in England and sunk his UFC record to 8-3.
The 36-year-old Munoz returned from a year long layoff last summer to beat Tim Boetsch at UFC 162. Before that, he lost to eventual middleweight champion Chris Weidman in July 2012, snapping a four-fight winning streak.
Like Munoz, Mousasi (34-4-2) last lost to Machida, only his came by unanimous decision. Aside from his loss to “The Dragon,” Mousasi hadn’t dropped a match since April 2010 when he lost the Strikeforce light heavyweight title.
The Iranian-born Dutchman came to the UFC when the promotion bough Strikeforce and expected to face Alexander Gustafsson in his debut, but settled for Ilir Latifi when Gustafsson wasn’t cleared to compete. The May 31 fight be Mousasi’s first since returning to the middleweight division.
UFC Fight Night San Antonio
Featherweights Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens face off in the UFC’s inaugural visit to San Antonio, Texas on June 28.
Since losing his UFC debut to Ricardo Lamas, Swanson (20-5) has won five straight bout, including knockouts of Dennis Silver, Charles Oliveira, Ross Pearson, and George Roop. Swanson hasn’t fought since defeating Silver at UFC 162 because of an elbow injury that required surgery.
Stephens’ (23-9) drop from a lightweight to featherweight may have saved his UFC career. After losing his first three matches with the promotion, he is undefeated as 145 lbs. fighter with victories over Darren Elkins, Rony Jason, and Estevan Payan.
UFC Fight Night 42
A June 7 match between Lance Benoist and Bobby Voelker may be the last for one of the two fighters.
After earning a 4-1 record with Strikeforce, Voelker (24-11) hasn’t found the same success in the UFC. Last year, Voelker lost to Patrick Cote via unanimous decision at UFC 158, then he got knocked out by Robbie Lawler at UFC on FOX 8. He lost a third fight in a row when he lost to William Macario at last December’s UFC 168.
Similarly, Benoist (6-2) is on a short leash after losing two straight. Benoist got off on the right foot in winning his UFC debut three years ago, but lost back-to-back decisions to Seth Baczynski and Sean Pierson since. The fight against Voelker will be his first since Sept. 2012 because of a broken leg he suffered.
The UFC’s Memorial Day card added a pair of preliminary bouts as Anthony Njokuani faces Vinc Pichel and Danny Mitchell fights Li Jingliang.
Njokuani (16-7) has been on the shelf since knocking out Roger Bowling at UFC on FOX 7 last April. The former WEC lightweight has split six decisions since debuting with the UFC. “The Assassin” was scheduled to fight Al Iaquinta last year but bowed out because of a foot injury.
A semi-finalist on The Ultimate Fighter 15, Pichel (8-1) will be looking for his second straight win after defeating Garrett Whiteley this past January. His 2012 UFC debut didn’t go as well, getting knocked out at the hands of Rustam Khabilov.
Mitchell and Jingliang’s scrum is the night’s first fight and will only be available on UFC Fight Pass. Mitchell (14-5) lost his promotional debut earlier this month by unanimous decision to Igor Araujo. Meanwhile, Li (8-2) is on a two-fight winning streak with five of eight career wins coming by submission.
A match between welterweights Daniel Sarafian and Kiichi Kunimoto has been booked for the UFC’s June 14 show in Vancouver.
Sarafian (8-4) is a former The Ultimate Fighter Brazil finalist who has lost two of three matches in the UFC. A former middleweight, the Brazilian makes his debut as a welterweight after losing split decision to Cezar Ferreira and C.B. Dollaway. His lone win with the promotion came at UFC on Fuel TV 10 when he submitted Eddie Mendez with an arm-triangle choke.
The 32-year-old Kunimoto (16-5) made a successful UFC debut last January when Luis Dutra was disqualified for illegal elbows to the head. Kunimoto rides a five-match winning streak that extends to promotional stints in his native Japan.
Cage Warriors 68
Jim Wallhead and Danny Roberts have been added to the Cage Warriors 68 main card, slated for May 3 in Liverpool, England.
Wallhead (25-8) has spent the majority of his nine-year career in the United Kingdom but has split time between BAMMA and Bellator over the last few years. He returns to Cage Warriors after a four-year absence that saw his defeat notable welterweights like Che Mills, Matt Veach, and Igor Araujo, who is unbeaten in the UFC.
Roberts (10-1) is undefeated in four Cage Warrior matches, most recently defeating Juan Manuel Suarez last month. His sole loss came to Paval Doroftei in Roberts’ last fight with England-based Ultimate Cage Championships.