Monday, November 28, 2022

UFC Matchmaking Bulletin (11/7-11/12): Doo Ho Choi Returns

MMA News has you covered with this week’s UFC matchmaking bulletin, featuring fights for returning featherweight Doo Ho Choi, heavyweight prospect Waldo Cortes-Acosta, welterweight veteran Warlley Alves, and the charismatic Jordan Leavitt.

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.

The main story this past week came at lightweight, where the first defense of Islam Makhachev‘s reign was set. The Russian will meet featherweight kingpin Alexander Volkanovski in the main event of UFC 284, set for Perth, Australia, on February 11, 2023. Also set for the same event will be an interim title fight at 145 pounds between Josh Emmett and Yair Rodriguez.

For detailed information on some other notable fights that may have flown under your radar between November 7 and November 12, scroll down and check out this week’s UFC matchmaking bulletin.

Chase Sherman vs. Waldo Cortes-Acosta – UFC Vegas 65 (November 19)

After having his matchup with Josh Parisian scrapped on late notice last weekend, Chase Sherman will return at UFC Vegas 65 on November 19 against a new opponent.

Having lost three consecutive fights to Andrei Arlovski, Parker Porter, and Jake Collier, Sherman (16-10) was briefly released earlier this year. He was re-signed just days later and matched up with rising contender Alexandr Romanov. After a quick defeat in that contest, “The Vanilla Gorilla” rebounded by stopping Jared Vanderaa at UFC Vegas 58.

Sherman will now look for his first win streak in over two years when he meets the undefeated Waldo Cortes-Acosta (8-0). After a first-round knockout win over Danilo Suzart on Dana White‘s Contender Series secured a path into the promotion, “Salsa Boy” debuted successfully last month at UFC Vegas 63, outpointing Vanderaa.

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

Warlley Alves vs. Nicolas Dalby – UFC 283 (January 21)

Welterweight veteran Warlley Alves will return for the first time since last July when he makes the walk in front of his home fans in Brazil at UFC 283 next January.

Alves (14-5), who boasts a submission victory over Colby Covington, has traded wins and losses across his last six appearances. In 2021, he failed to capitalize on a TKO victory over Mounir Lazzez in January, falling to a knockout at the hands of Jeremiah Wells five months later.

If he’s to continue his trend of bounce-back wins, the Brazilian will have to get past Nicolas Dalby (20-4-1) in Rio. “Lokomotivo” had a rebound of his own this year, outpointing Cláudio Silva at July’s UFC London event over a year after suffering defeat at the hands of Tim Means. The Danish native will be looking for his first win streak since 2019 when he makes the trip to Brazil.

This welterweight matchup was confirmed by the promotion.

Doo Ho Choi vs. Kyle Nelson – UFC Seoul (February 4)

Once-highly touted South Korean featherweight Doo Ho Choi will make his Octagon return at UFC Seoul next February after three years out of action.

Choi (14-4) had a perfect start in the promotion, going 3-0 between 2014 and 2016. That form included consecutive bonus-worthy KO wins over Sam Sicilia and Thiago Tavares. After falling short in a memorable contest with Cub Swanson, which now sits in the UFC Hall of Fame Fight Wing, “The Korean Superboy” suffered two TKO defeats in Fight of the Nights against Jeremy Stephens and Charles Jourdain.

As well as a sixth straight bonus, Choi will be looking to return to winning ways when he meets Kyle Nelson (13-5). The Canadian is also on a skid, having lost consecutive outings to Billy Quarantillo and Jai Herbert. Prior to that, “The Monster” had rebounded from another two-fight losing run by knocking out Polo Reyes.

This featherweight contest was first reported by The AllStar’s John Hyon Ko.

Jim Miller vs. Gabriel Benitez – UFC Fight Night (February 18)

Lightweight veteran Jim Miller is set to make his 41st walk to the Octagon at the UFC event set for February 18, 2023.

Despite approaching 40 and competing in the sport for over 15 years, Miller (35-16) isn’t slowing down. The New Jersey native is currently riding a three-fight win streak, with his latest triumph over Donald Cerrone this past July at UFC 276 marking his 24th win in the promotion and setting the new record for Octagon triumphs in the process.

He’ll look to extend his gap to second on that ladder when he opens his 2023 account opposite Gabriel Benitez (23-10). “Moggly” snapped a two-fight skid this past August at UFC San Diego, with a TKO success against Charlie Ontiveros helping him rebound from consecutive setbacks in tough matchups against Billy Quarantillo and David Onama.

This lightweight fight was first reported by ESPN Deportes’ Carlos Contreras Legaspi.

Jordan Leavitt vs. Victor Martinez – UFC Event (February 25)

Jordan Leavitt will look to return to the win column when he enters the cage at the UFC event scheduled for February 25.

Leavitt (10-2) initially went 3-1 in the Octagon following his signing on DWCS, with a defeat to Claudio Puelles marking the only blemish on his record. But after amassing a two-fight win streak, “The Monkey God” made a failed trip across the Atlantic this past July, when he was submitted by rising star Paddy Pimblett.

The talented grappler will look to quickly bounce back by stalling the charge of promotional newcomer Victor Martinez (13-4). “The Brick” extended his win streak to seven this past September with a decision triumph on DWCS. Having earned a contract with his victory over Jacob Rosales, the 31-year-old will hope to start his UFC career on the right foot by sending Leavitt on a skid.

This lightweight bout was first reported by MMA Mania’s Alex Behunin.

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