The Ultimate Fighting Championship has added three bouts to the card for the UFC Fight Night event that will take place at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center next month.
In the newly announced lightweight bouts, Vinc “From Hell” Pichel (10-1) of Simi Valley, Calif., will square off against Brazilian Joaquim “Netto BJJ” Silva (also 10-1); Charlotte’s Jordan Rinaldi (13-5) will take on undefeated Gregor “The Gift” Gillespie (10-0) of Long Island, N.Y.; and Bobby “King” Green (23-8-1) of Fontana, Calif., is pitted against Erik “New Breed” Koch (15-5) of Milwaukee, Wisc.
The main event, previously announced, is a middleweight bout between No. 4-ranked Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (24-5) of Brazil and Wilmington’s Derek Brunson (18-5), who is currently ranked eighth. It’s a highly anticipated rematch: Souza – a former Strikeforce middleweight champion – was the first fighter to finish Brunson, delivering a knockout against the relative newcomer in 2012.
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Though he most recently came up short against now-interim champ Robert Whittaker, Souza has proven to be one of the top fighters in the 185-pound division; during his time in the UFC, he’s dispatched Tim Boetsch, Vitor Belfort, Gegard Mousasi and Yushin Okami. Meanwhile, Brunson – a former three-time Division II All-American wrestler, at UNC Pembroke – recently stopped a two-fight skid with consecutive knockout victories against Dan Kelly and former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
Also on the card are No. 5-ranked Ovince St. Preux vs. No. 9-ranked Ilir Latifi (light heavyweights), and three women’s bouts: Randa Markos vs. Juliana Lima (strawweight), Katlyn Chookagian vs. Mara Romero Borella (flyweight) and Justine Kish vs. Ji Yeon Kim (flyweight).
Set for uptown’s Spectrum Center on Saturday, Jan. 27, the card marks the first time in nearly eight years that the UFC has hosted mixed martial arts fights in Charlotte. The event will be televised live on Fox.
Tickets ($50-$180) for UFC Fight Night Charlotte go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at www.spectrumcentercharlotte.com, www.ticketmaster.com, the Spectrum Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 800-745-3000.
The UFC last was in town on March 31, 2010, when former Boston College soccer player Kenny Florian choked Japanese star Takanori Gomi into submission in the main event at Bojangles’ Coliseum.
For more information on the UFC: www.ufc.com.