UFC has recently announced a major Light Heavyweight match for their debut fight card in Chile. The former title challenger and #2 ranked fighter in the division Volkan Oezdemir (15-2) will face the #7 ranked PRIDE legend and former UFC champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua (25-10) on May 19 at Movistar Arena in Santiago. This was confirmed a few hours ago by the official UFC Twitter handle.
Opportunity for both Volkan and Shogun to get into title contention
BREAKING: LHWs enter the Octagon in Chile. 🇨🇱
— UFC (@ufc) March 21, 2018
This fight is a great opportunity for Volkan to bounce back from his defeat to the champion Daniel Cormier, and also to make a fresh start towards winning the Light Heavyweight strap. Shogun Rua is on a three fight win streak with his last win coming against Gian Villante by Technical Knockout (TKO) in Brazil. The winner of this fight could very well make a case to be the next title challenger in a division plagued by injuries and suspensions and with the champion Daniel Cormier moving up a weight class for a super fight with the UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic, the number 1 contender spot could be up for the taking.
Main Event yet to be announced?
It is unclear whether this marquee fight between two of the premier Light Heavyweights is going to headline UFC’s first trip to Chile. Santiago Ponzinibbio is also campaigning to headline this card with possible opponents like Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in the mix.
Ponzinibbio gave his opinion on his next fight, “I think it’s a good opportunity to headline the fight in Chile,I am the guy from South America. I have a big following in Argentina, in Brazil, in Chile – everywhere. They know me after ‘TUF: Brazil.’ It’s a good opportunity to have a big fight for the fans. The fans know I am ready for a big fight.
I would want ‘Wonderboy,’ but I think he has an injury and still has to rehab. If ‘Wonderboy’ can’t, OK, give me Cerrone. I think it’s an exciting fight for the fans. For the first time in Chile, it would be a really exciting fight I think.”
Other fights announced for this card include:
Jared Cannonier vs Dominic Reyes (Light Heavyweight)
Alexa Grasso vs Tatiana Suarez (Women’s Strawweight)
Vicente Luque vs Chad Laprise (Welterweight)
Henry Briones vs Frankie Saenz (Bantamweight)