Three more bouts have been added to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC Fight Night event at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center next month, bringing the total number of matchups on the card to 11.
In the newly announced bouts, Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez (17-7) of Lindenhurst, N.Y., will square off against Andre “Touchy” Fili (17-5) of Sacramento, Calif., and Bosnian Mirsad Bektic (11-1) will take on Brazilian Godofredo Pepey (14-5); those are both featherweight bouts. In a welterweight bout, Niko “The Hybrid” Price (10-1) of Cape Coral, Fla., is pitted against George “The Silencer” Sullivan (17-5) of Belmar, N.J.
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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.
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:
▪ Four light-heavyweight bouts: No. 9-ranked Ovince Saint Preux (22-10) of Knoxville, Tenn., vs. eighth-ranked Swede Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi (14-5); Vinc “From Hell” Pichel (10-1) of Simi Valley, Calif., vs. Brazilian Joaquim “Netto BJJ” Silva (also 10-1); Charlotte’s Jordan Rinaldi (13-5) vs. undefeated Gregor “The Gift” Gillespie (10-0) of Long Island, N.Y.; and Bobby “King” Green (23-8-1) of Fontana, Calif., vs. “New Breed” Koch (15-5) of Milwaukee, Wisc.
▪ Three women’s bouts: 14th-ranked Randa “Quiet Storm” Markos (7-6) of Iraq vs. Brazilian Juliana “Ju Thai” Lima in the strawweight division; and flyweight fights that pit 11th-ranked Katlyn “Blonde Fighter” Chookagian of Kenilworth, N.J., against Italian Mara Romero Borella, and Justine Kish (6-1) of Russia vs. South Korean Ji Yeon “Firefist” Kim (6-1-2).
Set for uptown’s Spectrum Center on Saturday, Jan. 27, this 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 are on sale at www.spectrumcentercharlotte.com, www.ticketmaster.com, the Spectrum Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 800-745-3000.
For more information on the UFC: www.ufc.com.