After the announcement that UFC 187 will be headlined by Jon Jones Vs Anthony Johnson with Chris Weidman Vs Vitor Belfort the promotion have continued to stack the Memorial Day weekend event on May 23rd.
First up, a lightweight fight with title implications between Donald Cerrone and Khabib Nurmagomedov has been signed up for the Las Vegas show.
A fight between thse two top contenders has been talked about for some time. Cerrone is a certified fan favorite and has been on a terrific run of form despite a relentless fight schedule that’s seen him compete seven times in 15 months.
Impressively he won all seven of those fights including a unanimous decision victory over former champion Ben Henderson in his latest Octagon outing in January.
Despite that he now must overcome one final hurdle before earning a title shot, and it’s a big one in the shape of Nurmagomedov who’s currently place above him in the rankings at No.2.
Nurmagomedov isn’t known for the same exciting, all-action style as his opponent, but nonetheless the Russian is one of the most feared fighters in the lighter weight classes thanks to his exceptionally dominant wrestling ability which is punctuated by relentless takedowns.
It’s proven to be a winning strategy for the 26 year-old who’s unbeaten in his 22 fight career to date including six victories inside the Octagon.
Also featuring on the PPV portion of the card will be a heavyweight encounter between Travis Browne and Andrei Arlovski.
Browne is currently No.3 in the heavyweight rankings with his only loss in his last five fights coming against current interim champion Fabricio Werdum, while his heavy-handed credentials are clearly highlighted by the fact that all four of his victories during that period came by way of either KO or TKO.
A year ago it would have seemed highly unlikely that Arlovski would even be in the UFC, never mind being ranked at No.7 in the division.
However, after a six year absence the former champion was somewhat surprisingly offered a second spell in the promotion and he grabbed it with both hands. In fairness his initial split decision victory over Brendan Schaub left a lot to be desired, but his first round KO of Antonio Silva in September proved that the 36 year-old still has some fight left in him.
And finally, rounding off the main card is a flyweight encounter between two former title contenders Joseph Benavidez and John Moraga who are both on two-fight winning streaks and still ranked in the 125lb top 5 heading into this fight.