The UFC’s debut in Kazakhstan, scheduled for June 13, now has a main event — and it’s a good one. The card will reportedly be topped by a bantamweight contender bout between Russia’s Petr Yan and Brazil’s Marlon Moraes, which has been rumored for some time and has now been confirmed by MMA Junkie.
Petr Yan will step into the cage in Kazakhstan, a country with a huge Russian population, on a fantastic nine-fight win-streak. His last six victories have occurred in the UFC’s Octagon, where he’s defeated the likes of John Dodson, Jimmie Rivera, and most recently, former bantamweight title challenger Urijah Faber, who he knocked out on the main card of UFC 245 in December. The Russian is 14-1 overall.
Moraes, meanwhile, also fought last on the UFC 245, card, where he defeated former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo with a tight decision. Prior to that, he was defeated by Henry Cejudo via TKO in a bid to capture the UFC bantamweight title, which was left vacant after the former champ TJ Dillashaw was suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The Brazilian, who is the former World Series of Fighting champion, will step into the cage with Yan with a 23–6–1 overall record.
The UFC’s debut in Kazakhstan will go down in the capital city of Nur-Sultan which, until very recently, was called Astana. It was renamed in 2019 to honor long-time President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Beyond this this Petr Yan vs. Marlon Moraes fight, not much is known about the fight card for the UFC’s debut in Kazakhstan. That being said the promotion recently booked a bout between newly signed flyweight Zhalgas Zhumagulov, who hails from Kazakhstan, and Jordan Espinosa. It also recently signed former Invicta flyweight Mariya Agapova, who is also a native of Kazakhstan.
Stay tuned for more updates on this UFC Kazakhstan card — and the newly announced Petr Yan vs. Marlon Moraes fight — as details emerge.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/4/2020.