Golden Glory striker meets BJJ black belt at UFC 142
Highly regarded Afghanistan native Siyar Bahadurzada will make his UFC debut when the promotion returns to Brazil in January, and he’ll do it against what will be a big fan favorite.
Bahadurzada will fight Brazilian Erick Silva in a welterweight bout on Jan. 14 at UFC 142 when the UFC returns to the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The UFC announced the fight Monday through its UFC Brazil Twitter feed.
Bahadurzada (20-4) announced earlier this fall via Twitter that he had signed a deal with the UFC, but didn’t have an opponent lined up yet. The Shooto champ at 183 pounds has won six straight fights, including five knockouts. His last loss was more than three years ago, a submission setback against Jorge Santiago in Sengoku.
Silva (13-1, 1 NC, 1-0 UFC) debuted in the UFC in August at UFC 134, also at the HSBC Arena in Brazil. And he didn’t disappoint in front of his countrymen, winning with a 40-second knockout of Luis Ramos. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has 10 of his 13 career wins by stoppage, including seven submissions.
Bahadurzada is a member of the Golden Glory team that recently clashed with the UFC, which led to several of its notable fighters, including Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, being cut from the Zuffa ranks. Overeem went on to split with Golden Glory and sign with the UFC. He’s now in a legal battle with his former Holland-based management team.
After nearly 13 years away from Brazil, the UFC returned in August to a massive reception from fans in Rio, necessitating a quick return. UFC president Dana White has said Brazil made be the UFC’s new Canada in terms of fan response. UFC 142 is expected to feature as its main event a featherweight title fight between Brazilian champion Jose Aldo and challenger Chad Mendes. Also on the bill is the middleweight debut of Anthony Johnson, who will face Brazilian legend Vitor Belfort.