With four PPV events left for the UFC in 2017, the WME-IMG banner has set-up a slew of top contender fights ranging from heavyweight to the new women’s flyweight division.
With just over a week to go until UFC 216, the UFC are all set nonetheless to feature two new signees to their roster as LFA’s women’s flyweight champion Andrea ‘KGB’ Lee is slated to take on Kalindra Faria on October 7th.
Lee (8-2) fought as recently as last Friday night where she successfully defended her 125 lbs championship via second-round submission. Lee is widely considered as one of the premier flyweight fighters in the world and has successfully brought a premature end to six of her eight victories.
Faria (18-5-1) meanwhile will drop down in weight class for the UFC 216 bout as she is currently Titan FC’s bantamweight champion, winning the belt earlier this month.
At the top end of the heavyweight division, Francis Ngannou will take on Alistair Overeem at UFC 218.
News of the scheduled Ngannou – Overeem bout comes after Ngannou has campaigned for a new opponent for five weeks after his proposed UFC 215 bout with former champion Junior dos Santos was cancelled following a USADA potential violation.
Ngannou (10-1) has rocketed his way up the UFC heavyweight division since signing with the promotion and most recently defeated former champion Andrei Arlovski in 92 seconds at UFC on Fox 23.
His opponent, Alistair Overeem (43-15, 1 NC), is currently on a two-fight win streak after victories over Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum. Overeem holds the distinction of having held the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship, DREAM Heavyweight Championship and is a former K-1 Grand Prix Champion.
With UFC 219 set as the UFC’s last PPV of the year on December 30th, two top contender fights have been added to the end of the year event as former bantamweight king Dominick Cruz will take on Jimmie Rivera while Cynthia Calvillo will face off against former strawweight champion Carla Esparza.
Cruz (22-2) has yet to fight since losing his 135 lbs title to Cody Garbrandt last year and his UFC 219 bout will mark one year to the day since that bout. Cruz had been on a 13-fight winning streak before facing Garbrandt including wins over the likes of Joseph Benavidez, Urijah Faber, T.J Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson.
Rivera (21-1) is currently ranked #3 on the UFC’s bantamweight rankings and the 28-year old fighter has been undefeated since losing his second ever bout in 2008.
In the women’s strawweight division, rising prospect Cynthia Calvillo (6-0) has quickly ascended the UFC’s rankings after accruing wins over Amanda Cooper, Pearl Gonzalez and Joanne Calderwood in the space of four months earlier this year.
Carla Esparza (12-4) meanwhile, bounced back from a defeat earlier this year by recording a unanimous decision victory over Maryna Moroz at UFC Fight Night 112 in June. Esparza successfully became the UFC’s inaugural strawweight champion in 2014 when she defeated Rose Namajunas via third-round submission.