Nikolas Motta to Make UFC Debut Against Damir Hadzovic on May 8

By Jay Pettry Mar 4, 2021

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A promising Dana White's Contender Series signee has his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut set for May.

First reported by MMA DNA on Thursday, Nikolas Motta (12-3) will be squaring off against Damir Hadzovic (13-6) at lightweight on the May 8 UFC Fight Night card. The event, which is currently tabbed to take place in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, does not yet have a headliner booked. The match was confirmed later by multiple outlets.

Motta prevailed on the ninth week of the 2020 season of DWCS, where he captured a decision over Joseph Lowry to earn a contract. The ex-Cage Fury Fighting Championships champ has won five of his last six, including a knockout of current UFC fighter Joe Solecki, as he made his way to the organization. “Iron” Motta has notched two-thirds of his career wins by knockout, while he has never won by submission. On the other hand, each of the Brazilian’s defeats have come within the first two rounds.

Facing Motta will be “The Bosnian Bomber” Hadzovic, who will be looking to right the ship after a pair of setbacks against Christos Giagos and Renato Carneiro the last two years. The Bosnian made his way to the UFC by winning six consecutive fights including four by stoppage from 2012 to 2015, but his own debut was unsuccessful as Mairbek Taisumov punched him out in the opening frame. With his sights set on evening his UFC record to .500, Hadzovic has notched victories over Marcin Held, Marco Polo Reyes and Nick Hein inside the Octagon.

The UFC Fight Night event on May 8 does not currently have a headliner set, but it is expected to go down in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. A pair of key fights are billed high on the card now, including a potential women’s bantamweight title eliminator between Holly Holm and Julianna Pena, while Donald Cerrone squares off against former training partner Diego Sanchez in the latter’s retirement fight at welterweight.

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