Rising bantamweight Petr Yan has a fresh new UFC contract.
And he also has his most difficult opponent. According to a report from ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Yan will face longtime vet John Dodson in the UFC’s Czechoslovakian debut on Feb. 23 in Prague.
He also announced he had signed a new four-fight contract with the UFC in addition to the bout agreement:
Russian bantamweight Yan has been on a tear since debuting in the UFC in June 2018. He’s won three straight fights in the Octagon. He was last seen finishing Douglas Silva de Andrade via vicious corner stoppage at UFC 232. ‘No Mercy’ has an overall record of 11-1 and has won six straight fights.
It could be argued Dodson is by far his toughest challenge ever. The onetime flyweight title contender has shown bouts of inconsistency as of late, however. He alternated wins and losses over his next eight fights dating back to May’s UFC 187. After beating Zach Makovsky, he lost to then-flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson for the second time. He moved back to bantamweight and has had mixed results since. Last year, ‘The Magician’ beat Pedro Munhoz by split decision before losing to Jimmie Rivera by unanimous decision.
Both of these fighters need a big win for different reasons. That makes this a match-up a classic veteran vs. rising star bout as a result.
Here are the other bouts on UFC Prague’s card as it currently stands:
Light Heavyweight: Jan Błachowicz vs. Thiago Santos
Heavyweight: Marcos Rogério de Lima vs. Stefan Struve
Women’s Flyweight: Liz Carmouche vs. Lucie Pudilová
Light Heavyweight: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Darko Stošić
Welterweight: Michel Prazeres vs. Ramazan Emeev
Light Heavyweight: Sam Alvey vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov