The UFC may be going big for its first event in New York with Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez headlining UFC 205 on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden. The MMA juggernaut is going heavy for its quick New York turnaround with two heavyweight bouts taking the top slots at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov on Dec. 9 in Albany, N.Y.
Heading Friday’s announcement was the naming of a bout pitting No. 10 heavyweight Derrick Lewis against Shamil Abdurakhimov in the UFC Fight Night Albany main event. The heavyweight fight taking the co-main event slot is No. 13 ranked Francis Ngannou versus Anthony Hamilton.
Following a rocky start to his UFC career, Lewis (16-4, 1 NC) has rattled off four consecutive victories, three by way of knockout. Abdurakhimov (17-3) stumbled in his UFC debut, but enters the fight with Lewis having won back-to-back bouts.
Ngannou (8-1) has knocked out all three of his Octagon opponents, while Hamilton (15-5) has alternated between wins and losses. Hamilton won his last fight, however, and will be trying to build some momentum with a win over Ngannou.
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Other bouts announced for Albany on Friday include Aljamain Sterling versus Raphael Assuncao at bantamweight, Gian Villante versus Patrick Cummins at light heavyweight, Oluwale Bamgbose versus Joe Gigliotti at middleweight, Randy Brown versus Charlie Ward at welterweight, Keith Berish versus Ryan Janes at middleweight, Tatiana Suarez versus Juliana Lima at strawweight, Corey Anderson versus Sean O’Connell at light heavyweight, and Tiago Trator versus Zubaira Tukhugov at featherweight.
UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov takes place on Dec. 9 at Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. I will air live on the UFC Fight Pass digital subscription service.