Fights come together fast these days, and if you blink, you can easily miss them. In Fight Roundup, we bring you the latest reported matchups to keep you up to date with what’s on the horizon.
All bouts featured have been officially announced or confirmed with MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz, Mike Heck, and Damon Martin via sources with knowledge of the matchups.
Matheus Nicolau vs. Manel Kape 2
Two of the UFC’s top flyweights are running it back.
At UFC Vegas 83 on Jan. 13, Matheus Nicolau and Manel Kape meet in a rematch of their March 2021 encounter that Nicolau won via split decision. The bout was first reported by Eurosport.
The matchup pits two of MMA Fighting’s top 10 flyweights against one another, with Nicolau currently at No. 10 and Kape at No. 9.
Nicolau (19-3-1) was on the cusp of a UFC title shot before suffering a first-round knockout loss to Brandon Royval this past April. Prior to that, Nicolau had won six straight fights, including a close decision nod over Kape. In addition to beating Kape, Nicolau holds notable wins over Matt Schnell, Tim Elliott, Louis Smolka, and John Moraga.
Kape (19-6) hasn’t lost since his first meeting with Nicolau. The former RIZIN champion has rebounded with four straight wins, most recently defeating short-notice replacement Felipe dos Santos via unanimous decision at UFC 293.
Three other bouts have been confirmed for Jan. 13, including a key bantamweight fight between Mario Bautista and Ricky Simon.
Bautista (13-2) and Simon (20-4) are both in the thick of the contender race at 135 pounds, with Bautista having won five straight and Simon recently seeing his own five-fight win streak snapped by Song Yadong. The bout was first announced by Bautista’s management, who also announced a Jan. 13 featherweight bout between Westin Wilson and Gabriel Santos.
Also at UFC Vegas 83, Phil Hawes (12-5) is also set to face Brunno Ferreira (10-1) in a middleweight bout. That matchup was first reported by Ag. Fight.
Gregory Rodrigues vs. Brad Tavares
A year later, Gregory Rodrigues and Brad Tavares are taking another run at each other.
The middleweights now compete on Feb. 10 after a previous scheduled meeting at UFC 283 fell through last January. Rodrigues (14-5) instead fought replacement Brunno Ferreira, losing by knockout in Round 1, while Tavares (20-8) later lost by first-round knockout to Bruno Silva in April.
Rodrigues announced the re-booking first via social media.
Both fighters have since rebounded with wins. Rodrigues finished Denis Tiuliulin inside of a round with ground-and-pound at UFC 292 and Tavares earned a unanimous decision nod over former UFC champion Chris Weidman on the same card.
The Feb. 10 UFC event is yet to be announced and does not have an official location.
The legendary Clay Guida competes for the 62nd time at UFC Austin when he fights Joaquim Silva in a lightweight bout.
Guida (38-23), who was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2019 for his classic brawl with Diego Sanchez, looks to rebound from a decision loss to Rafa Garcia in his most recent outing at UFC Kansas City. The veteran steps into the octagon on Dec. 2, just six days shy of his 42nd birthday.
Silva (12-4) looks to break out of a 1-3 slump, which was capped off by a third-round TKO loss to Arman Tsarukyan this past June. “Netto BJJ” has competed sporadically over the past few years, with just four fights since 2018.
The following bouts have also been made official for UFC Austin:
Featherweight: Steve Garcia (14-5 vs. Melquizael Costa (20-6)
Light Heavyweight: Rodolfo Bellato (11-2) vs. Ihor Potieria (19-4)
Welterweight: Wellington Turman (18-7) vs. Jared Gooden (22-9)
Flyweight: Veronica Hardy (7-4-1) vs. Jamey-Lyn Horth (6-0)
As previously announced, UFC Austin is headlined by pair of lightweight contenders’ bouts, with Beneil Dariush fighting Arman Tsarukyan in the main event, and Bobby Green fighting Dan Hooker in the co-main event.
More Canadian content has been added to the UFC 297 lineup as Jasmine Jasudavicius, Malcolm Gordon, Serhiy Sidey, and Yohan Lainesse have all landed on the Jan. 20 pay-per-view card in Toronto.
Fighting out of St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Jasudavicius (9-3) makes her sixth UFC appearance since making her promotional debut in January 2022. She is 3-2 inside the octagon and looks to keep building her name in the flyweight division when she fights Priscila Cachoeira (12-5) at UFC 297.
Gordon (14-7), who fights out of Toronto, enters his flyweight fight with Jimmy Flick (16-7) on a two-fight losing skid. Following back-to-back wins over Denys Bondar and Francisco Figueiredo, Gordon has stumbled with losses to Jake Hadley and Muhammad Mokaev, both of whom stopped Gordon inside the distance.
Also hailing from Ontario, Burlington bantamweight Sidey (10-1) makes his UFC debut against the man who he beat to earn a contract on the Contender Series, Ramon Taveras (9-2). Sidey Sidey defeated Taveras via first-round knockout this past September, but finds himself standing across from him again after Taveras earned his own contract with a 29-second knockout of Cortavious Romious the following October.
Rounding out the card is Quebec’s Lainesse (9-2), who fights England’s Sam Patterson (10-2-1) in a welterweight bout.
UFC 297 is headlined by middleweight champion Sean Strickland defending against Dricus Du Plessis, with Mayra Bueno Silva and Raquel Pennington battling for a vacant bantamweight title in the co-main event.