Headliners for two of the UFC’s newly announced cards will feature original main events that were scratched because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The light heavyweight matchup between Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira will take place May 13, while the heavyweight clash between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris will go down May 16.

On Friday, MMA Junkie confirmed both pairings with two people close to the situation who wished to remain anonymous because the UFC has yet to make an official announcement.

Both events (which do not have official names) will take place at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., with the regulatory oversight of the Florida State Athletic Commission, as part of the UFC’s plan to pull off three events in eight days.

Smith (32-14 MMA, 8-4 UFC) originally was set to get a main event close to home on the UFC’s postponed April 25 card in Omaha, Neb. The former title challenger is coming off a submission win over Alexander Gustafsson last June, and the result was followed by a series of surgeries that have kept him out of action since.

Teixeira (30-7 MMA, 13-5 UFC) is riding a three-fight winning streak. The Brazil-born Connecticut resident has defeated Karl Roberson, Ion Cutelaba, and Nikita Krylov.

Overeem (45-18 MMA, 10-7 UFC) and Harris (13-7 MMA, 6-6 UFC), meanwhile, were initially scheduled to headline UFC on ESPN 7 last December in Washington D.C., but Harris withdrew from the fight after the disappearance of his stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard, who was later found murdered.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik stepped in to replace Harris and scored a comeback knockout victory over Overeem with just four seconds remaining in the fight. Prior to that, Overeem had notched back-to-back finishes over Sergey Pavlovich and Aleksei Oleinik.

Overeem and Harris were rescheduled to face off in the main event on April 11 in Portland, Ore., but that event was among those postponed by the promotion during the pandemic.

Source link