With a difficult contract negotiation now behind him, rising light heavyweight prospect Misha Cirkunov is back in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and has a new dance partner.
Monday, the UFC announced that Cirkunov will return to the Octagon on May 28 for the UFC Fight Night card at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, facing recent UFC addition Volkan Oezdemir. The promotion's Swedish return is headlined by another 205-pound clash, pitting foremost fighting Swede Alexander Gustafsson against perennial standout Glover Teixeira (online betting).
The 30-year-old Cirkunov made his UFC debut in August 2015, knocking Daniel Jolly out in the first round. Since then, the Latvian-Canadian has put together a 4-0 mark in the Octagon, tapping Alex Nicholson, Ion Cutelaba and most recently, Nikita Krylov in December.
The Krylov bout marked the end of Cirkunov's initial UFC contract. Upon entering free agency, Cirkunov's angling for a second deal didn't go smoothly, as UFC President Dana White came out in February and said that Cirkunov had “flaked” and wouldn't be re-signed by the company. On March 1, news broke that Cirkunov had in fact re-signed with the UFC.
Oezdemir, 27, made his UFC on short notice at the UFC Fight Night in Houston on Feb. 4, coming in for an injured Jan Blachowicz on two weeks of preparation to face Ovince St. Preux. The Swiss fighter has won three in a row since his lone career loss in April 2014, when he was submitted by Kelly Anundson in the Bellator MMA cage.