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Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight Julio Arce is hoping that a move down to 135 pounds will provide the spark he needs to move up the ranks.
At an unnamed UFC Fight Night card on July 24, Arce (16-4) is planning on dropping to bantamweight to take on Andre Ewell (17-7). The news was first reported by MMA Fighting on Thursday. Arce later confirmed the pairing on his Instagram.
Arce surged into the UFC with a drubbing of Peter Petties on the first season of Dana White's Contender Series, and the New Yorker amassed a win streak of seven before meeting Sheymon Moraes in 2018. At UFC 230, Arce suffered a split decision loss, although he rebounded by head kicking Julian Erosa seven months later. Another split decision setback, this time to Hakeem Dawodu in November 2019, left him at a crossroads. A February matchup with Timur Valiev fell through, and over five months later, he finally has his next opponent.
Ewell too lost his last fight, dropping a decision to Chris Gutierrez in February. The loss snapped a two-fight win streak over Jonathan Martinez and Irwin Rivera, both of the split decision variety. The Californian made his way to the UFC on short notice against Renan Barao, where he upset the former champ on split judges’ scorecards. Ewell will look to keep his UFC record above .500 against Arce, as another loss would drop him to 4-4 with the Las Vegas-based organization.
The unnumbered UFC Fight Night event on July 24 does not currently have a destination set, although it may be held in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. There is no current headliner announced, but anticipated main card pairing include a middleweight battle between Ian Heinisch and Nassourdine Imavov, as well as a bantamweight clash between Aspen Ladd and Macy Chiasson.
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