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A big all-Brazil bantamweight battle has been added to a February Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night card.
Sherdog.com has learned from sources close to the situation that Raphael Assuncao (27-8) will lock horns with Raoni Barcelos (16-1). The two bantamweights will come to blows on Feb. 27 at the UFC Fight Night event in either Las Vegas or Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The matchup will likely come with top-10 implications at 135 pounds for the winner.
The #9 ranked Assuncao is coming off of three consecutive defeats to top-ranked opponents Cody Garbrandt, Cory Sandhagen and Marlon Moraes. Although Assuncao has not won a fight since 2018, his previous run before the setbacks to Moraes et. al was an astonishing 11-1, with the lone defeat in a rematch with T.J. Dillashaw in 2016. Throughout his storied career, Assuncao has posted wins over names including the aforementioned Dillashaw, Jorge Masvidal, Joe Lauzon and Moraes as he has shifted down from lightweight to bantamweight over the years.
Although currently unranked, Barcelos is on the outside of the top 15 looking in, as he is riding an impressive win streak including five straight wins in the UFC. His last two in particular came in very impressive fashion, capturing thrilling decisions against Khalid Taha and Said Nurmagomedov. Before signing with the UFC, Barcelos held the Resurrection Fighting Alliance featherweight crown and defended it twice.
The UFC Fight Night event on Feb. 27 is presumably scheduled for the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, but it could also take place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It will be headlined by a light heavyweight rumble between Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka. Other billed matchups on the card include a 205-pound scrap as William Knight takes on Alonzo Menifield, while Sabina Mazo faces the returning Alexis Davis at bantamweight.
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