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16th Sep 2016

UFC New York gets its first huge fight, and that’s just the start

An exciting featherweight duel is also in the works.

Ben Kiely

UFC 205 is starting to take shape.

The UFC’s first ever New York card is set to go down in the iconic Madison Square Garden on November 12 and so far the matchmakers have been doing a bang up job for the event.

We’ve already seen fan favourite and emerging welterweight contender Donald Cerrone book a fight against rising star Kelvin Gastelum, and local fighter Katlyn Chookagian get paired up against Liz Carmouche. New York natives Rashad Evans, Al Iaquinta and Gian Villante have also been linked with fights on the card, but no bouts have officially been confirmed by the promotion yet.

Now MMAjunkie is reporting that the mooted middleweight title eliminator bout between former champion Chris Weidman and elite contender Yoel Romero has been finalised.

Long Island native Weidman (13-1, 9-1 UFC) lost his UFC middleweight title by 4th round TKO to Luke Rockhold in the UFC 194 co-main event. The loss marked the first of the All-American’s career. He was scheduled for an immediate rematch at UFC 199, but a neck injury forced him out of the bout which made room for Michael Bisping to swoop in and claim the title via first round knockout.

Olympic silver medalist Romero (12-1, 7-0 UFC) will return after serving a six-month suspension for a failed drug test due to a tainted supplement. The 39-year-old Olympic silver medalist defeated Jacare Souza via controversial split decision in his last bout at UFC 194.

Romero spinning back fist

Combate are reporting that an exciting featherweight clash between New Jersey native Frankie Edgar and knockout artist Jeremy Stephens is also in the works for the event.

Former lightweight king Edgar (20-5-1, 14-5-1 UFC) will be looking to rebound following his loss to Jose Aldo for the interim featherweight belt at UFC 200 while Stephens (25-12, 12-11 UFC) would enter into this one off the back of a decision victory over former bantamweight champion Renan Barao.

The event is currently without a main event, but a lightweight title fight between champion Eddie Alvarez and featherweight belt holder Conor McGregor is rumoured to be the headline act. These rumours have been strengthened following light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier’s announcement that he will not be ready in time for the event.

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