The octagon will make its debut in Moncton, New Brunswick tonight for the promotions UFC Fight Night 138: Volkan Oezdemir vs. Anthony Smith event.
The fight card is headlined by a key light heavyweight matchup featuring former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir taking on surging contender Anthony Smith.
Volkan Oezdemir was last seen in action at January’s UFC 220 event in Boston, where he suffered a second-round TKO loss to current UFC “champ champ” Daniel Cormier.
Prior to the setback, “No Time” had put together a five-fight win streak which saw him earn impressive stoppage victories over Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa.
Meanwhile, Anthony Smith has gone 2-0 since moving up to light heavyweight. “Lionheart” has scored first-round finishes over former division champions Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua during that stretch.
In the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 138, featherweights Artem Lobov and Michael Johnson will collide in hopes of moving up the 145-pound ranks.
“The Russian Hammer” was initially slated to face Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teammate Zubaira Tukhugov (18-4 MMA) at UFC Moncton. However, the promotion pulled Tukhugov off of the fight card shortly following the Russians involvement in UFC 229’s now infamous post fight brawl.
Artem Lobov has not competed inside the cage since suffering a unanimous decision loss to Andre Fili at last October’s UFC Fight Night 118 event in Poland.
“The Russian Hammer” will enter the contest having dropped four of his past six fights. Lobov’s most recent victory came at UFC Fight Night 99 in Ireland where he defeated Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision.
Meanwhile, Michael Johnson was last seen in action at August’s UFC Fight Night 135 event where he scored a split-decision victory over Andre Fili.
That victory snapped a three fight losing skid for “The Menace”, as Johnson has previously suffered defeats to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Darren Elkins and Justin Gaethje respectively.
After taking the fight on just a few weeks notice, Michael Jonhson failed in his attempt to get down to 145-pounds. With that said, Artem Lobov was all class in forgiving his UFC Moncton opponent.
Get the full UFC Fight Night 138 lineup and start times below:
UFC Fight Night 138 Main Card @ 10 PM EST on FS1
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Anthony Smith
Artem Lobov vs. Michael Johnson
Misha Cirkunov vs. Patrick Cummins
Andre Soukhamthath vs. Jonathan Martinez
Ed Herman vs. Gian Villante
Court McGee vs. Alex Garcia
UFC Fight Night 138 Televised Prelims @ 8 PM EST on FS1
Nordine Taleb vs. Sean Strickland
Thibault Gouti vs. Nasrat Haqparast
Chris Fishgold vs. Calvin Kattar
Talita Bernardo vs. Sarah Moras
UFC Fight Night 138 Fight Pass Prelims @ 6:30 PM EST
T’e’Jovan Edwards vs. Don Madge
Arjan Bhullar vs. Marcelo Golm
Stevie Ray vs. Jessin Ayari
Who are you picking to win at tonight’s UFC Fight Night 138 event in Moncton?