A heavyweight bout between Curtis Blaydes and Shamil Abdurakhimov has been finalized for UFC 242 which takes place September 7 in Abu Dhabi.
It was reported earlier this month by Farah Hannoun that the two heavyweights were close to finalizing their bout. According to Abdurakhimov, he had signed his part of the agreement and was waiting on Blaydes. Just over a week since, it is now made official:
Blaydes bounced back from a second defeat to Francis Ngannou late last year by comfortably out-pointing Justin Willis. He will now look to make it two wins in a row and continue to stake a claim for a title shot.
As for Abdurakhimov, he has been on a recent tear. Following his knockout loss to Derrick Lewis in 2016, the Russian has won three in a row. His recent wins include knockouts of Chase Sherman and Marcin Tybura, as well as a decision win over former champion Andrei Arlovski.
The announcement comes after the main event of UFC 242 was recently made official, as Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier will collide in a lightweight title unification clash.
Here’s how the card is shaping up so far:
- Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier
- Curtis Blaydes vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
- Islam Makhachev vs. Davi Ramos
- Mairbek Taisumov vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
- Belal Muhammad vs. Takashi Sato
- Ottman Azaitar vs. Teemu Packalen