February marks Black History Month, and to celebrate, I will be taking a moment to shine the spotlight on African-American athletes scheduled to compete this month in the world of professional mixed martial arts. We have… Derek Brunson UFC 208 Brunson looks to get back in the win column after seeing his five-fight winning streak snapped by Robert Whitaker. The North Carolina native trains out of Jackson-Wink MMA in high-altitude Albuquerque, NM, and he is one of the best middleweights on the UFC’s roster. Currently ranked at No. 8 in the UFC’s middleweight rankings, Brunson can get closer to the division’s Top 5 with a victory over former UFC middleweight champion and future Hall of Famer Anderson Silva this Saturday night at UFC 208 in Brooklyn, NY. It will the biggest fight of Brunson’s professional mixed martial arts career, and he will more eyes on him than ever before. Jared Cannonier UFC 208 “The Killa Gorilla” is currently enjoying a two-fight winning streak inside the Octagon that started with a knockout of Cyril Asker at heavyweight, prior to dropping down to the light heavyweight division, where he made waves by picking up an upset unanimous-decision victory over Ion Cutelaba. Cannonier now gets the stiffest test of his professional mixed martial arts career this Saturday night when he squares up against former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Glover Teixeira at UFC 208 in Brooklyn, NY. The Alaskan plans to impress and says he may even move further down to the UFC’s middleweight division, so keep your eyes peeled on Mr. Cannonier this weekend and in the future. Randy Brown UFC 208 “Rude Boy” was discovered by UFC president Dana White on his reality series, Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight, when he scored a first-round knockout of Robert Plotkin under the Ring of Combat banner. He defeated Matt Dwyer via unanimous decision in his promotional debut but came up short against Michael Graves in his next outing, suffering the first official loss of his professional mixed martial arts career via second-round rear-naked choke submission. Brown bounced back into the win column with a come-from-behind guillotine-choke win over Erick Montano in his next outing, and he followed that up with a second-round knockout of Brian Camozzi in what was his best performance inside the Octagon. He now aims to make it three straight wins when he takes on Duke Roufus-trained fighter Belal Muhammad this Saturday at UFC 208 in his hometown of Brooklyn, NY. Ryan Spann vs. Trevin Giles LFA 3 Spann (9-3) and Giles (8-0) are a pair young Texas natives looking to make some noise in LFA and earn contracts with the UFC. They are talented middleweights who have solid wins on their resumes and have bright futures ahead of them, with Spann being just 25 years old and Giles only 24. Keep your eyes on these two in this LFA main event on Friday night. Jammall Emmers LFA 5 “Pretty Boy” is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Rivaldo Junior and will be looking to make it two in a row for himself when he squares up against Cory Sandhagen on Friday, February 24th in Broomfield, CO. The 27-year-old California native owns a solid 10-3 pro record heading into this contest and hopes to make a run in the LFA featherweight division.