The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, now has a main event, as welterweight contenders Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine will meet in a five-round main event.
UFC officials announced the bout on Thursday.
A training partner of former UFC 170-pound kingpin Georges St-Pierre, MacDonald (17-2) has long been on the cusp of a title shot, but was derailed by a split-decision loss to Robbie Lawler late last year.
He bounced back from that disappointment to win his next two bouts, scoring unanimous-decision victories over Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley.
Although those two victories put MacDonald back in the thick of the mix of title talk, current champion Johny Hendricks has been sidelined with an injury and already has his next title defense set with Lawler.
Saffiedine (15-3) is on a five-fight winning streak, but the final Strikeforce welterweight champion has made a slow transition to the Octagon.
After taking the Strikeforce belt from Nate Marquardt in January of 2013, Saffiedine didn’t fight again until a year later. He won a unanimous decision over Hung Gyu Lim to start this year and now will return 10 months later to try and put himself in a position to challenge for the UFC belt.
UFC Fight Night 54 takes place on Oct. 4 at the Halifax Metro Centre.