A heavyweight doubleheader will headline the UFC’s first visit to Albany, New York on Friday, December 9, with No. 10-ranked Derrick Lewis facing off against Shamil Abdurakhimov in the main event, while No. 13-ranked Francis Ngannou takes on Anthony Hamilton in the co-featured bout of the card, which will air on UFC FIGHT PASS.
Currently sporting a four-fight winning streak that includes three knockouts, Houston’s Lewis will look to follow up his July win over Roy Nelson with a fourth 2016 victory when he takes on Dagestan’s Abdurakhimov, who has scored back-to-back Octagon wins over Hamilton and Walt Harris. Derrick Lewis and Ryan Janes' last scheduled fights at UFC Fight Night 97 in Manila, Philippines was cancelled and the two were rebooked to this card. Shamil Abdurakhimov replaced Marcin Tybura in a three round heavyweight bout and Keith Berish replaced Dongi Yang.
France’s Ngannou is one of the top rising stars in the heavyweight division, with three UFC victories over Luis Henrique, Curtis Blaydes and Bojan Mihajlovic propelling him into the top 15. Standing in the way of his further prospect is “The Freight Train” Hamilton, who is coming off a 14-second knockout of Damian Grabowski in July.
Gerald Meerschaert battles Joe Gigliotti in a middleweight matchup who were originally Josh Samman and Oluwale Bamgbose but Samman died on October 5 and Bomgbose pulled out of the fight in mid-November citing an injury. Randy Brown will be pitted against fellow newcomer Brian Camozzi in welterweight action who would have been Charlie Ward but was pulled from the event due to alleged visa issues.
The promotional newcomer JJ Aldrich is going to have a tough test in No. 15-ranked Juliana Lima.
TUF winner, Corey Anderson will take on always exciting Sean O’Connell in a light heavyweight showdown. Zubaira Tukhugov was replaced by Shane Burgos to face Tiago Trator in a featherweight bout. Tukhugov was pulled from the card after being notified by USADA of a potential anti-doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected earlier last November 14.
Here's the official fight card:
Main Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Heavyweight Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
Heavyweight Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Hamilton
Light Heavyweight Corey Anderson vs. Sean O'Connell
Light Heavyweight Gian Villante vs. Saparbek Safarov
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Women's Strawweight Justine Kish vs. Ashley Yoder
Welterweight Randy Brown vs. Brian Camozzi
Middleweight Joe Gigliotti vs. Gerald Meerschaert
Middleweight Andrew Sanchez vs. Trevor Smith
Featherweight Tiago Trator vs. Shane Burgos
Lightweight Frankie Perez vs. Marc Diakiese
Middleweight Keith Berish vs. Ryan Janes
Women's Strawweight Juliana Lima vs. JJ Aldrich