The Ultimate Fighting Championship has added another bout to its Charlotte, N.C., return card and it's a reminder of how powerful callout culture can be.
Light heavyweight standouts Ilir Latifi and Ovince St. Preux will square off at UFC on Fox 27, scheduled for Jan. 27 at the Spectrum Center. The Charlotte Observer was first to report the matchup on Monday.
The UFC has yet to formally announce the 205-pound contest, which is expected to be part of the event's main card broadcast on Fox. However, the bout comes as little surprise after both men mutually targeted one another. After St. Preux's stirring head-kick knockout of Corey Anderson at UFC 217 in New York earlier this month, he called out Latifi as his preferred next opponent.
“I didn’t pick him; he picked me,” St. Preux continued after the fight. “He called me out a while back, and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ When this situation came up, I jumped on it.”
The 34-year-old Latifi has won four of his last five fights, his lone loss coming in September 2016 to now-Bellator champion Ryan Bader via brutal second-round knockout. The Sweden-based “Sledgehammer” got back into the win column at UFC 215 in September, hammering out a unanimous decision over previously undefeated prospect Tyson Pedro.
St. Preux, also 34, suffered a surprise split-decision loss to debuting Volkan Oezdemir in February, taking his third straight Octagon defeat. However, the former University of Tennessee linebacker has bounced back quickly, taking stoppage wins over Marcos Rogerio de Lima, Yushin Okami and the aforementioned Anderson over the last seven months.
UFC on Fox 27 will be the fourth event in promotional history in the city of Charlotte and the first since UFC Fight Night 21 in March 2010. UFC 3 and 5 were both held in “The Queen City” in September 1994 and April 1995, respectively.