MMA News has you covered with this week’s UFC matchmaking bulletin, featuring fights for ranked light heavyweight Alonzo Menifield, top 15 middleweight Chris Curtis, and strawweight contender Gillian Robertson.
With UFC cards being held most weekends, Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby have their matchmaking work cut out if they’re to fill them, meaning new bouts are confirmed each and every week.
It was a busy week overall for fight announcements, with a number of lower-profile matchups coming together. For those, check out the list below:
Randy Brown vs. Muslim Salikhov – UFC 296 (December 16)Gabriel Santos vs. Westin Wilson – UFC Vegas 83 (January 13)Malcolm Gordon vs. Jimmy Flick – UFC 297 (January 20)Serhiy Sidey vs. Ramon Taveras – UFC 297 (January 20)
But it wasn’t all positive, with some fights falling through or being adjusted in recent days. For those failed pairings and any confirmed replacements, see the list below:
Charles Oliveira (OUT, Alexander Volkanovski IN) vs. Islam Makhachev – UFC 294 (October 21)Paulo Costa (OUT, Kamaru Usman IN) vs. Khamzat Chimaev – UFC 294 (October 21)Curtis Blaydes (OUT, Derrick Lewis IN) vs. Jailton Almeida – UFC São Paulo (November 4)Nursulton Ruziboev (OUT, Abus Magomedov IN) vs. Ciao Borralho – UFC São Paulo (November 4) Daniel Santos (OUT, Victor Hugo IN) vs. Daniel Marcos – UFC São Paulo (November 4)
And for more detailed information on three notable fights that may have flown under your radar between October 9 and October 15, scroll down and check out this week’s UFC matchmaking bulletin.
Alonzo Menifield vs. Dustin Jacoby – UFC 296 (December 16)
A pair of ranked light heavyweights have been added to the lineup for the UFC’s final pay-per-view event of 2023.
Alonzo Menifield (14-3-1) has found his best form in the Octagon to date, having gone unbeaten in four fights since a disappointing decision loss to William Knight in December 2021. After first-round knockouts of Askar Mozharov and Misha Cirkunov in 2022, “Atomic” has had a two-fight series this year with Jimmy Crute. While their first contest in Perth ended in a majority draw, Menifield submitted the Australian five months later at UFC 290.
Looking to snap Menifield’s winning run, which has seen him climb to #14 in the rankings, will be Dustin Jacoby (19-7-1). The former Glory kickboxer had his push towards contention stalled by consecutive defeats at the hands of Khalil Rountree Jr. and Azamat Murzakanov. At UFC Nashville this past August, however, “The Hanyak” kept his place in the top 15 by bouncing back with an emphatic TKO win over Kennedy Nzechukwu.
This light heavyweight fight was first reported by MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin.
#BREAKING Dustin Jacoby vs. Alonzo Menifield in the works for #UFC296 in December, per multiple sources
Story coming to @MMAFighting #UFC
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) October 12, 2023
Chris Curtis vs. Marc-André Barriault – UFC 297 (January 20)
Another ranked contender booked for their return this week is middleweight Chris Curtis, who will head into enemy territory at UFC 297 in January.
Curtis (30-10, 1 NC) made a quick rise into the top 15 by winning his first three outings on MMA’s biggest stage, a run that included an upset victory over Brendan Allen. He’s since had his hand raised just once in four fights, with defeats to Jack Hermansson and Kelvin Gastelum compounded by a no contest caused by a clash of heads against Nassourdine Imavov at UFC 289 in Vancouver this past June.
In pursuit of a return to winning ways, Curtis will likely head back to Canada for the UFC’s opening PPV of 2024, which is targeted for Toronto. There, he’s slated to share the cage with the country’s own Marc-André Barriault (16-6, 1 NC). “Power Bar” is currently riding a winning streak for the first time since 2021, having knocked out Julian Marquez and outpointed Eryk Anders in back-to-back fights.
This middleweight matchup was first reported by MMA Mania’s Alex Behunin.
Chris Curtis will fight Marc-Andre Barriault on January 20th at UFC 297 in Toronto, per sources pic.twitter.com/p7TZ2ECcc3
— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) October 12, 2023
Gillian Robertson vs. Polyana Viana – UFC 297 (January 20)
Also set to compete in front of her home fans on January 20 is strawweight submission specialist Gillian Robertson.
Robertson (12-8) concluded an inconsistent run at flyweight by viciously choking out Mariya Agapova last September. And in her return to 115 pounds at UFC Kansas City in April, “The Savage” displayed her slick grappling talents top submit the previously undefeated Piera Rodriguez with an armbar. With that, Robertson boasts the most submission wins in UFC women’s history.
Having missed out on a home fight in Vancouver and instead been outpointed by Tabatha Ricci two weeks later in Jacksonville this past June, Robertson will look to avoid a losing skid by sending Polyana Viana (13-6) on one. The Brazilian also suffered a decision loss to Ricci last May, but she bounced back in style with a brutal KO win over Jinh Yu Frey. Viana was unable to continue that momentum at UFC Vegas 78 in August, where the highly touted Iasmin Lucindo submitted her by way of an arm-triangle choke.
This strawweight scrap was announced by Robertson on the FightBananas YouTube channel.