UFC on FOX card in Calgary officially announced
On July 28, the UFC will host their first Canadian event of the year in Calgary for a UFC Fight Night card at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Since 2008, the UFC has held their first Canadian event of the year earlier than midsummer.
The co-main event for the card was announced with second-ranked Jose Aldo facing fourth-ranked Jeremy Stephens in both the first non-title fight of Aldo’s UFC tenure, as well as his first fight not on a pay-per-view. It will also be Aldo’s first fight that is scheduled for only three rounds in over nine years.
Aldo had won 17 straight fights before losing his featherweight title to Conor McGregor in December of 2015 and has gone 1-2 since with both losses coming to current featherweight champion Max Holloway.
No main event has been officially named, but according to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, there have been talks of having UFC women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano defend her title for the first time against top-ranked Valentina Shevchenko.
Montano won the title at the finale of last year’s Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion finale when she defeated Roxanne Modafferi.
Montano holds a 4-2 MMA record, while Shevchenko is 4-2 UFC record with both losses coming to current women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
Canadians Hakeem Dawodu, Jordan Mein, John Makdessi, Kajan Johnson, Alexis Davis and Randa Markos have all been confirmed as competitors on the card.
Maia steps in for UFC Chile main event
UFC Chile was dealt a serious blow last weekend when it was announced that both the main event and co-main event were either canceled or required an injury replacement. In the main event, Santiago Ponzinnibio was forced to withdraw due to a hand injury and the co-main event was cancelled due to Volkan Oezdemir’s ongoing legal issue, which prevents him from leaving the United States.
The UFC found a replacement for Ponzinnibio that should make headliner Kamaru Usman, who has been hungry to face a high-ranked welterweight opponent for a long time, very happy. It was announced that fifth-ranked Demian Maia will occupy the vacant slot of the main event in what should be a highly competitive fight with Usman.
Maia has lost his last two fights against champion Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington, respectively, and is looking to bounce back, having won seven in a row prior to those losses. Maia has never lost more than two fights in a row over the course of his decorated 25-8 tenure with the UFC.
Borg withdraws from UFC Chile amid newborn’s health issues
It has been a horrific month for former UFC flyweight title challenger Ray Borg.
He and his wife celebrated the birth of their first son, Anthony, in late March before Borg ventured to Brooklyn to compete against Brandon Moreno at UFC 223 on April 7.
During fight week, Borg was on the bus attacked by Conor McGregor and, as a result, Borg had shards of glass go into his eye, which forced him to pull out of the fight.
The fight was rescheduled for the UFC’s May 19th card in Chile, but upon his return home, according to Borg’s Instagram, Anthony had to undergo brain surgery as a result of being diagnosed with hydrocephalus.
The surgery had some complications that resulted in Anthony having to undergo a second surgery.
According to Borg’s latest update, Anthony’s second surgery was successful, but he has been experiencing seizures.
Borg continues to provide updates to his followers via his Instagram account.
Cards can be sent to the Borg family through Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Newell to get shot at UFC deal on Contender Series
For years, many have wondered about whether congenital amputee Nick Newell would be able to make it to the UFC.
In June, that question could be answered when Newell, who holds a 14-1 MMA record with the sole loss coming to the UFC’s seventh-ranked lightweight Justin Gaethje, competes on the Dana White Contender Series.
This second incarnation of the Dana White Contender Series will award deserving competitors with UFC contracts if they are able to impress the UFC president with their win on the show.
The promotion airs exclusively on UFC Fight Pass and will also include former NFL All-Pro defensive end Greg Hardy.
Newell’s opponent has not been reported at this time.
Nelson withdraws from UFC Fight Night in Liverpool
When it rains, it pours for the UFC when it comes to injuries and the upcoming sold out event in Liverpool, England is no exception, as welterweight Gunnar Nelson has been forced to withdraw from the card due to a knee injury.
Per his social media, Nelson announced that he would be undergoing an operation that will sideline him for eight to 10 weeks.
The co-main event was slated to pit 12th-ranked Nelson against ninth-ranked Neil Magny and a replacement is currently being sought.
The card is headlined by a bout between eighth-ranked welterweight and native Liverpudlian Darren Till and top-ranked Stephen Thompson.
Canadian Elias Theodorou will also appear on the card against Trevor Smith.