Wednesday, September 28, 2022

UFC Matchmaking Bulletin (9/12-9/17): Yusuff Gets New Opponent

MMA News has you covered with this week’s UFC matchmaking bulletin, featuring fights for ranked featherweight Sodiq Yusuff and entertaining bantamweight Julio Arce.

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.

In recent days, a few big-name fights were reported, confirmed, or made official by the UFC and reputable sources. For more information on those matchups, check out the links below:

But it wasn’t all positive, with a number of fights falling through or being adjusted in recent days. For those failed pairings and any confirmed replacements, see the list below:

  • Rani Yahya (OUT) vs. Cody Garbrandt – UFC Vegas 61 (October 1)
  • Uroš Medić (OUT, Viacheslav Borshchev IN) vs. Mike Davis – UFC Vegas 61 (October 1)
  • Jamie Mullarkey (OUT) vs. Magomed Mustafaev – UFC 280 (October 22)
  • Hamdy Abdelwahab (OUT) vs. Parker Porter – UFC 280 (October 22)

For more detailed information on some notable bouts that may have flown under your radar between September 12 and September 17, scroll down and check out this week’s UFC matchmaking bulletin.

Sodiq Yusuff vs. Don Shainis – UFC Vegas 61 (October 1)

After losing out on a UFC Vegas 60 co-main event spot opposite top-10 contender Giga Chikadze after the Georgian’s withdrawal, featherweight prospect Sodiq Yusuff has been re-booked for the following event on October 1.

Yusuff (12-2) has gone 5-1 in the Octagon since earning a contract on Dana White‘s Contender Series. The 29-year-old’s only blemish came against the #6-ranked Arnold Allen last April. Having rebounded and maintained his place at #12 on the 145-pound ladder with a victory over Alex Caceres in March, “Super” Sodiq will hope to return to a winning streak at the expense of a debutant at UFC Vegas 61.

Answering the short-notice call to face the Nigerian-American is Don Shainis (13-3). “Shameless” will ride a five-fight win streak into his first UFC outing, including three consecutive first-round knockout victories since April.

This featherweight bout was confirmed by promotion officials.

Duško Todorović vs. Jordan Wright – UFC Vegas 62 (October 15)

Middleweight prospects Duško Todorović and Jordan Wright will both be looking to bounce back when they collide at UFC Vegas 62 on October 15.

Todorović (11-3) showed immense promise when he followed up a DWCS triumph with a TKO win against Dequan Townsend on debut, extending his perfect record to 10-0 in the process. But since then, the Serbian has gone 1-3. Most recently, he failed to continue the momentum gained from a victory over Maki Pitolo, brutally falling victim to the charging Chidi Njokuani this past May.

Whilst “Thunder” will look to avoid another skid next month, Wright will be targeting the end of one. Like Todorović, Wright has gone 1-3 since extending his then-unbeaten record on his UFC debut. “The Beverley Hills Ninja” initially rebounded from a KO loss to Joaquin Buckley by stopping Jamie Pickett. But in his latest two appearances, the 30-year-old was stopped by Bruno Silva and Marc-André Barriault, both times in the first round.

This middleweight fight was first reported by MMA Fighting.

Julio Arce vs. Montel Jackson – UFC 281 (November 12)

Former two-division Ring of Combat champion Julio Arce will face his third test as a UFC bantamweight when he goes toe-to-toe with Montel Jackson at UFC 281.

After a contract-earning performance on DWCS, Arce (18-5) went 3-2 inside the Octagon at featherweight, beating Dan Ige, Daniel Teymur, and Julian Erosa, but falling to defeats against Sheymon Moraes and Hakeem Dawodu. After his loss against the latter, the Miami native dropped to 135 pounds, where he knocked Andre Ewell out on his divisional debut. Most recently, Arce rebounded from a setback against Song Yadong by outpointing Daniel Santos.

Looking to prevent Arce from building a win streak and extend his own inside Madison Square Garden will be Jackson (11-2). “Quik” has gone 5-1 since a debut loss to Ricky Simón, including a submission victory over Brian Kelleher. Since his lone Octagon defeat against Brett Johns, Jackson has stopped Jesse Strader and outpointed JP Buys.

This bantamweight matchup was confirmed by Jackson’s management team, Iridium Sports Agency.

Erik Silva vs. TJ Brown – UFC 282 (December 10)

At the final pay-per-view of the year, Venezuelan featherweight Erik Silva will make his UFC debut against TJ Brown.

Prior to a fast TKO win on DWCS last month, Silva (9-1) held gold in the Lux Fight League promotion, where he recorded four straight first-round rear-naked choke submission victories between 2019 and 2022. Having continued his rapid finishing ways in front of Dana White at the Apex, “King” will look to do so again in front of a global audience at UFC 282.

Looking to add the first loss to Silva’s record since 2016 will be Brown (16-9). At the start of this year, “Downtown” made it back-to-back wins, following up a decision success in a barnburner against Kai Kamaka lll with a victory over Charles Rosa. But his rise was stalled at the hands of Shayilan Nuerdanbieke at UFC Vegas 57.

This featherweight scrap was first reported by ESPN MMA Deportes’ Carlos Contreras Legaspi.

Who do you envision having their hand raised in these UFC matchups?

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