The UFC is set to debut in Kazakhstan on June 13, 2020. Now, the card has been given a main event — and it’s certainly going to be a fan-friendly one.
The event will reportedly be headlined by a Bantamweight challenger matchup between Russia’s Petr Yan and Brazil’s Marlon Moraes. This matchup had been rumored for a while, but has now been confirmed by MMA Fighting.
Petr Yan will enter the Octagon in Kazakhstan, a country with a large Russian population, on an incredible 9-fight winning streak. His last 6 wins have been inside the UFC’s Octagon, beating the likes of John Dodson, Jimmie Rivera, and most recently, the long-time Bantamweight title challenger Urijah Faber, who Yan knocked out on the main card of UFC 245 in December. The Russian has a professional MMA record of 14-1.
Meanwhile, Marlon Moraes, who also last competed on the UFC 245, card, where he beat the former UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo by a close decision. Before that, he lost to Henry Cejudo via TKO in an attempt at capturing the UFC bantamweight belt, which was left vacant after the former champion TJ Dillashaw was given a suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The Brazilian is the former World Series of Fighting champion and will enter the contest against Yan with a professional MMA record of 23–6–1.
This will be the UFC’s first event in Kazakhstan. It takes place in the capital city of Nur-Sultan which, used to be called Astana. It was recently renamed in 2019, to honor the long-time President – Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Other than the matchup between Yan and Moraes, not much is known about any other fights on the card for the UFC’s debut in Kazakhstan. The promotion did recently book a bout between newly signed Flyweight Zhalgas Zhumagulov, who is from Kazakhstan, and Jordan Espinosa. The UFC have also recently signed former Invicta Flyweight Mariya Agapova, who also comes from Kazakhstan.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 4th March, 2020.