MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: UFC signs RFA champ Sanders, Fernandes meets Belingon at ONE Championship 36

RFA champion Luke Sanders fights Maximo Blanco at UFC Fight Night 81 Last week it was Joey Gomez, this week Luke Sanders is the newest member of the UFC roster as he fills in to fight Maximo Blanco. Sanders (10-0) replaces Dennis Bermudez who had to bow out due to injury and also moves up to featherweight for this matchup. Blanco (12-6-1) is on a three-fight win streak and most recently defeated Mike De La Torre at the TUF 21 Finale back in July.   UFC Fight Night 81 takes place Jan. 17 at TD Garden in Boston. Here’s an updated look at the card. MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1, 10 p.m. ET) Champ T.J. Dillashaw vs. Dominick Cruz – for bantamweight title Eddie Alvarez vs. Anthony Pettis Travis Browne vs. Matt Mitrione Ross Pearson vs. Francisco Trinaldo PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET) Patrick Cote vs. Ben Saunders Mairbek Taisumov vs. Chris Wade Maximo Blanco vs. Luke Sanders Tim Boetsch vs. Ed Herman PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET) Daron Cruickshank vs. Paul Felder Ilir Latifi vs. Sean O’Connell Jimy Hettes vs. Charles Rosa Rob Font vs. Joey Gomez Francimar Barroso vs. Abdul-Kerim Edilov   Champ Bibiano Fernandes meets Kevin Belingon at ONE Championship 36 in China Fernandes (18-3) is riding a 10-fight win streak and is coming off an impressive third round knockout victory over Toni Tauru at ONE FC 29. Belingon (13-4) is 4-4 in ONE Championship and is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over Koetsu Okazaki in December 2014. Here’s an updated look at the ONE Championship 36 event Champ Bibiano Fernandes vs. Kevin Belingon – for bantamweight title Yang Sen vs. Li Kai Wen Muin Gafurov vs. Toni Tauru Roy Doliguez vs. Riku Shibuya Su Noto vs. Ming Yen Sung Ma Hao Bin vs. Wu Ting Shen – Changsha bantamweight tournament semifinal Cai Chang Bo vs. Bu Huo You Ga – Changsha bantamweight tournament semifinal Zhou Biao vs. Tang De Fen – Changsha bantamweight tournament reserve bout   Marcus Brimage fights in Canada against Sabah Fadai  Jeremy Brand at broke the news late last night that Marcus Brimage has his first fight booked since his UFC release. Brimage (7-5) replaces the injured Lenny Wheeler and will be taking on Canadian Sabah Fadai for the Z Promotions featherweight championship. After a solid start to his UFC career going 3-1, the Spartan MMA & Fitness leader then went 1-3, suffering back to back losses against Cody Garbrandt and Jimmy Rivera. Fadai (11-4, 1NC) captured the Unified featherweight title by defeating Parwez Ghulam by second round TKO at Unified MMA 23. “The Persian Warrior” has won three-straight fights heading into this championship matchup on January 23rd. I did an interview with Fadai earlier this month to talk about that previous matchup against Lenny Wheeler, but he also talks about a number of interesting topics. Z Promotions (Fight Night Calgary) and takes place on January 23 in Calgary, Alberta.  

Written by James Lynch

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