(#5) OVINCE SAINT PREUX vs (#9) ILIR LATIFI
(#14) RANDA MARKOS vs. JULIANA LIMA
TICKETS FOR UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: JACARE vs. BRUNSON 2 AT SPECTRUM CENTER GO ON SALE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15
Las Vegas – UFC will return to Charlotte, N.C. with an action-packed event, headlined by a pivotal middleweight bout that will see No.4-ranked contender Jacare Souza rematch No.8-ranked and North Carolina native Derek Brunson. UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: JACARE vs. BRUNSON 2 takes place Saturday, January 27 at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center and will air live on FOX.
A former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Souza (24-5 1NC, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) became the first fighter to finish Brunson (18-5, fighting out of Wilmington, N.C.), delivering a spectacular knockout against the relative newcomer in 2012. Since then, the two have firmly established themselves amongst the UFC middleweight elite.
Though he most recently came up short against now interim champ Robert Whittaker, Souza has proven to be one of the top finishers in the stacked 185-pound division. During his time in the UFC, he’s impressively dispatched Tim Boetsch, Vitor Belfort, Gegard Mousasi and Yushin Okami. The decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is hoping for a repeat performance against Brunson to thrust himself back into the title mix.
As for Brunson, the NCAA Division II wrestler recently cracked a two-fight skid with consecutive knockout victories against Dan Kelly and former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Aiming for a measure of revenge, Brunson looks to continue his momentum by putting Souza to sleep with his trademark left hand.
In a showdown of light heavyweight contenders, No. 5-ranked Ovince Saint Preux aims for his fourth consecutive victory in the span of one year when he battles gritty No.9 Ilir Latifi.
Earning finishes in each of his last three tilts, Saint Preux’s (22-10, fighting out of Knoxville, Tenn.) two latest outings have seen him take home Performance of the Night honors—slapping his now-patented ‘Von Preux’ choke on Yushin Okami, before putting away Corey Anderson with a spectacular head kick. Standing in his way is tough grinder Latifi (14-5 1NC, fighting out of Malmo, Sweden), who recently handed Aussie standout Tyson Pedro the first loss of his career. A strong grappler with knockout power, The Sledgehammer plans to use Saint Preux as a stepping stone up the light heavyweight rankings.
Additional bouts on the card include:
· No.14-ranked strawweight contender Randa Markos (7-6, fighting out of Windsor, Ont., Canada) looks to return to the win column against tough striker Juliana Lima (9-4, fighting out of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil)
· In a clash of flyweight prospects, Katlyn Chookagian (9-1, fighting out of Kenilworth, N.J.) takes on Mara Romero Borella (12-4 1NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Ponte dell’Olio, Italy)
· Justine Kish (6-1, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) aims to rebound from her first career loss when she faces Ji Yeon Kim (6-1-2, fighting out of Incheon, South Korea)