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Junior dos Santos vs Curtis Blaydes headlines UFC Fight Night event in Raleigh on Jan. 25

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently announced plans to stage an event in Raleigh, North Carolina for the first time ever, which is set to go down inside PNC Arena on Jan. 25. Now, the event has found its headlining bout, as ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that Junior dos Santos (No. 4) and Curtis Blaydes (No. 3) will collide in heavyweight action.

Junior was previously set to fight Alexander Volkov in the main event of last week’s UFC Fight Night 163 event in Moscow, Russia before a bad leg infection forced “Cigano” out of the fight. He was ultimately replaced by his teammate, Greg Hardy, who lost a unanimous decision to “Drago.”

Junior saw his three-fight win streak come to an end after he was knocked out by Francis Ngannou at UFC on ESPN 3 this past June (see it again here).

As for Blaydes, he has won two straight, most recently defeating Shamil Abdurakhimov at UFC 242 a few months ago. The win was his sixth of seven overall dating back to 2017. Curtis has been calling for bigger fights that will get him closer to a championship fight, and one agaisnt “JDS” fits the bill perfectly.

Indeed, a victory here for either man would definitely get him closer to a shot at the 265-pound strap currently held by Stipe Miocic, though that could change if either Daniel Cormier or Ngannou have a say in the matter.


The ESPN+-streamed event is set to go head-to-head with Cris Cyborg’s Bellator MMA debut, which will see her fight the promotions women’s Featherweight champion, Julia Budd, in Inglewood, California.

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