Rory MacDonald-Tarec Saffiedine in the works for Halifax; Jessica Eye wants Holly Holm
The UFC is having preliminary talks about a Rory MacDonald-Tarec Saffiedine main event in Halifax on Oct. 4
Rory MacDonald (left) could be fighting Tarec Saffiedine in October.
By Marc Raimondi
The welterweight division is arguably the best in the UFC right now. The hierarchy could be hashed out even more in October.
There are preliminary talks to have contenders Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine headline UFC Fight Night on Oct. 4 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani reported Wednesday. MacDonald is ranked No. 2 among welterweight contenders, while Saffiedine is No. 9.
MacDonald (17-2) has won two in a row, including a dominant unanimous decision win over Tyron Woodley at UFC 174 last month. Saffiedine (15-3), the final Strikeforce welterweight champion, has won five straight. His UFC debut was a victory over Hyun Gyu Lim in January. The Belgian was supposed to fight Jake Ellenberger in April before getting hurt.
Robbie Lawler meets Matt Brown on Saturday at UFC Fight Night (FOX, 8 p.m.) to determine the No. 1 contender for the welterweight title. The winner will likely fight champion Johny Hendricks in December or January. But a MacDonald-Saffiedine fight would have a ton of meaning. MacDonald could be next in line after the Lawler-Brown victor if he can beat Saffiedine.
Eye's manager Greg Kalikas told UFC Tonight's Helwani that she is throwing her hat in the ring to be the first person in the company to fight the former women's boxing champion, who was recently signed. Holm is out until November or December with a broken hand, which coincides with the time Eye is hoping to return to the Octagon.
Eye is coming off a very tight split decision loss to Alexis Davis in February. She's ranked No. 6 among women's bantamweights in the UFC. Holm is undefeated, a fantastic striker and extremely athletic. But she never fought anyone nearly as good as Eye on the independent circuit.
Stipe Miocic was supposed to fight Junior dos Santos in May in Brazil before dos Santos broke his hand. Miocic still wants that fight, but he's hoping it happens in the United States, Miocic's manager Greg Kalikas told UFC Tonight's Helwani.
Miocic, who is dealing with an injured back, will be ready to return sometime in the fall. Dos Santos has a similar timeline.
C.B. Dollaway, who is now ranked No. 9 among UFC middleweight contenders, is hoping to fight the winner of UFC 178's bout between Tim Kennedy and Yoel Romero, per Helwani. Dollaway wants that fight in December on FOX, which is rumored to be taking place near where Dollaway trains in Phoenix. … Helwani reported that the UFC is close to signing top flyweight prospect Henry Cejudo, a former Olympic gold medalist. Cejudo is undefeated (6-0) in MMA, but has struggled to make the flyweight maximum of 125 pounds. He recently pulled out of next month's Legacy main event.