Neither fight cam a surprise, but the UFC on Wednesday confirmed two marquee bouts for its UFC 213 fight card slated for July 8 in Las Vegas.
A heavyweight rubber match between Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem will grace the card, as will a previously scheduled and canceled welterweight showdown between Robbie Lawler and Donald Cerrone.
Werdum (21-6-1) and Overeem (42-15, 1NC) first met in the opening round of the 2006 Pride Openweight Grand Prix. Werdum submitted Overeem with a Kimura shoulder lock. In their second meeting, in a Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal bout in 2011, Overeem took the honors, winning a unanimous decision.
With Werdum coming off of a win over Travis Browne in his most recent fight and Overeem having knocked out Mark Hunt, both men will be counting on a victory at UFC 213 to get into the thick of title talk.
Lawler (27-11, 1NC) hasn’t fought in almost a year. He last stepped in the Octagon at UFC 201 last July, where he lost the welterweight championship to Tyron Woodley. He had been expected to face Cerrone at UFC 205 in November at Madison Square Garden, but withdrew from the fight, saying he wasn’t quite ready to make his way back to the cage.
Cerrone (32-8, 1NC) instead went on to knock out Matt Brown at UFC 206 in December in Toronto. He then lost to Jorge Masvidal in January, in what was likely an eliminator for a shot at the belt.
UFC 213 already features a bantamweight championship bout between current champ Cody Garbrandt and former teammate and former titleholder TJ Dillashaw.