The UFC is heading back to Canada’s national capital in Ottawa, Ontario on May 4. Although the card has yet to be officially announced, the main event is expected to see Canadian Elias Theodorou taking on Derek Brunson, sources close to the booking told BJPENN.com’s Cole Shelton.
Currently, the fight is in the negotiation period, and no contracts have been signed. However, it is currently trending in the right direction where contracts could be signed soon. The bout as of right now is expected to be the main event, however, that could still change as the event is some distance away.
Elias Theodorou is currently ranked 14th in the middleweight division and will have his first chance at a top-10 opponent when he takes on eighth-ranked Derek Brunson. The Canadian was last seen in the Octagon at UFC 231 where he defeated Eryk Anders by split decision to extend his winning streak to three.
Meanwhile, Brunson is riding a two-fight losing streak with his most recent defeat coming at UFC 230, where he lost to Israel Adesanya by TKO in the first round. Before that, Brunson lost to Jacare Souza in February which snapped his two-fight winning streak.
This fight has been in the works since both fighters called each other out. Brunson initially implied Theodorou would be a step down in competition, and speaking to BJPENN.com earlier this month, Theodorou refuted that claim.
“I think it is a good fight. Obviously, he is a tough competitor,” Theodorou said. “He has shown there are ways to beat him, obviously by being on a two-fight losing streak. I’m looking for, if all goes well, to make it three. It is a great fight and he presents challenges. But, I have shown time and time again that I’m one tough puzzle to solve and I look forward to getting my hand raised.”
The 30-year-old Theodorou understands why Brunson called him out but remains confident he can beat him.
“I think he is hoping to get back on the win streak,” he said. “He thinks he is going to beat me and he wants some confidence and he doesn’t feel confident against top-five guys. He is looking down to rebuild himself but he is in for a rude awakening if we do ever fight. I think I have what it takes to beat him.”
At first, this fight was reportedly targeted for UFC Philadelphia but it was subsequently pushed back and targeted for UFC Ottawa. If the bout does stay as the main event, it will be the first time Theodorou headlines a UFC event.
Do you think this is a worthy main event for the upcoming UFC Ottawa card?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/31/2019.