MMA News has you covered with this week’s UFC matchmaking newsletter, featuring fights for middleweight brawler Gregory Rodrigues, 2022 Dana White’s Contender Series former Jose Johnson and 23-year-old prospect Michael Morales.
With UFC cards being held most weekends, Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby have their work cut out if they want to fill them, which means new fights are confirmed every week.
In recent days, a few big name fights have been reported, confirmed or made official by the UFC and reputable sources. For more information on these matches, check out the links below:
But it hasn’t all been positive, with a few fights falling apart in recent days. For these failed pairings, see the list below:
- Melsik Baghdasaryan (OUT) vs. Joanderson Brito – UFC Vegas 62 (October 15)
- Edson Barboza (OUT) vs. Ilia Topuria – UFC Vegas 63 (October 29)
For more in-depth information on some notable fights that may have passed under your radar between September 26 and October 1, scroll down and check out this week’s UFC matchmaking bulletin.
- 1 Jose Johnson vs. Vince Morales – UFC Vegas 65 (November 19)
- 2 Daniel da Silva vs. Vinicius Salvador – UFC 282 (December 10)
- 3 Michael Morales vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov – UFC Vegas 66 (December 17)
- 4 Gregory Rodrigues vs. Brad Tavares – UFC 283 (January 21)
- 5 Josiane Nunes vs. Zarah Fairn – UFC 283 (January 21)
Jose Johnson vs. Vince Morales – UFC Vegas 65 (November 19)
Recent Dana White’s Contender Series Graduate Jose Johnson will make his debut at UFC Vegas 65 on Nov. 19.
Johnson (15-7) won back-to-back fights under the Fury FC banner to earn an opportunity on the UFC talent search show. “Lobo Solitario,” whose last two losses have come to Octagon bantamweights Ronnie Lawrence and Mana Martinez, capitalized on his opportunity by edging out Jack Cartwright in August.
Vince Morales (11-6) will be looking to spoil the 27-year-old’s welcome party. “Vandetta,” a seven-fight UFC veteran, has struggled for consistency since joining the promotion. While he forged his first UFC winning streak last year, beating Drako Rodriguez on the scorecards and stopping Louis Smolka, Morales saw his solid form ended by Jonathan Martinez at UFC Vegas 55 in last May.
This bantamweight hunk was first reported by MMA Mania’s Alex Behunin.
Daniel da Silva vs. Vinicius Salvador – UFC 282 (December 10)
Another of the best artists of the 2021 edition of DWCS Also expected to be in action later this year, with Vinicius Salvador set to make his promotional debut against Daniel da Silva at UFC 282 on December 10.
Salvador (14-4), an exciting flyweight prospect fighting in Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil, landed a contract with the Octagon with a second-round knockout of Shannon Ross. With the win, “Fenomeno” extended his winning streak to four and maintained his 100% finish rate with his 13th KO/TKO.
On course for a fast start for Salvador, da Silva (11-4), who arrived in the Octagon as a highly touted prospect after an 11-1 run on the Brazilian regional stage – the only loss being a TKO caused by a shoulder injury.
But in three UFC outings, ‘Miojo’ has been stopped three times, with Jeff Molina and Victor Altamirano getting knockouts, and Francisco Figueiredo submitting da Silva with a knee cap in the first round.
This flyweight fight was first reported by Raphael Marinho of Combate.
Michael Morales vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov – UFC Vegas 66 (December 17)
A pair of welterweight prospects will collide on the final UFC card of 2022, UFC Vegas 66, on December 17.
After 10 finishes in 11 wins, undefeated Michael Morales (14-0) landed a contract by beating Nikolay Veretennikov in last season’s DWCS. The 22-year-old Ecuadorian then upped his stock by knocking out Trevin Giles in one round in his UFC 270 debut last January. He did it back-to-back under the UFC banner with a third-round TKO win over Adam Fugitt at UFC 277.
Rinat Fakhretdinov (19-1) will be looking to add the first 0 to Morales’ record later this year. The Russian landed a contract with a memorable knockout of Eric Spicely past Dana White at UAE Warriors 15 last January. Making an impact on his debut, “Gladiator” Greek wrestler Andreas Michailidis at UFC Vegas 56 in June.
This welterweight contest was announced by Morales’ management team, Iridium Sports Agency.
Gregory Rodrigues vs. Brad Tavares – UFC 283 (January 21)
After one of last month’s standout performances, Gregory Rodrigues will get a ranking shot in front of a home crowd at UFC 283 on January 21.
Rodrigues (13-4) quickly earned a reputation as one of the most entertaining middleweights in the promotion. This was demonstrated in his victory from behind over Junyong Park and his knockout of Julian Marquez. More recently, ‘Robocop’ has picked up back-to-back victories in memorable style, battling a gruesome cut to stop Chidi Njokuani’s charge at UFC Vegas 60.
Now, after his latest viral triumph, Rodrigues will get the chance to add a number next to his name. In the first pay-per-view of 2023, scheduled for Rio de Janeiro, he will face No. 14 ranked contender Brad Tavares (19-7).
After back-to-back losses to Israel Adesanya and Edmen Shahbazyan, Tavares enjoyed a resurgence with a pair of wins in 2021. But at UFC 276 last July, the 34-year-old Hawaiian fell on the wrong side of a decision after a fight with Dricus. DuPlessis.
This middleweight fight was first reported by Laerte Viana of Super Lutas.
Josiane Nunes vs. Zarah Fairn – UFC 283 (January 21)
Women’s featherweight Josiane Nunes, who will face France’s Zarah Fairn, will also be set to compete on home soil at UFC 283.
Nunes (9-1) got off to a perfect 2-0 start in the UFC. After signing with a knockout reputation having won six out of seven, “Josi” started his Octagon career with equal footing, stopping Bea Malecki with a first-round left jab at UFC Vegas 34. The Brazilian is returned to action last February. , highlighting Ramona Pascual.
If Nunes wants to make it three in a row, she’ll have to get past the woman she was originally scheduled to make her 2021 debut against. Unlike the 28-year-old, Fairn (6-4) has struggled to find form at the ‘UFC. In two appearances, the Paris, France native suffered first-round losses to Megan Anderson and Felicia Spencer. Now, back after two years, “Infinite” will look to bounce back by tarnishing Nunes’ UFC record.
This women’s featherweight contest was first reported by Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting.
Who do you plan to raise your hand in these UFC matchups?