Women’s strawweights Felice Herrig and Cortney Casey will square off at Detroit’s UFC 218, promotion officials announced today. The pairing comes the same day as another pair of popular fighters, Bec Rawlings and Joanne Calderwood, were announced for UFC Sydney in a flyweight contest. It’s also great news for Casey, who can put a false positive drug test behind her and get back to work in the cage.
For Felice Herrig, ranked ninth in the strawweight division, it’s also a chance to build on her best run in the promotion to date. After joining the UFC as part of The Ultimate Fighter 20, the popular fighter struggled to find her rhythm. However Herrig (13–6) is now on a three-fight win streak with victories over Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, and Justine Kish. Another win, and she could very well be knocking on the door of title contention.
For Casey (7–4), just getting back in the octagon may be something of a victory. Following her win over Jessica Aguilar at UFC 211 in May, Casey was on top of the world — until the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation announced she had failed a drug test due to a slightly high T:E ratio. The only problem was, the tests performed didn’t show any actual performance enhancing drug use, and a slightly elevated T:E ratio can have other causes (birth control, for example). The TDLR jumped the gun; luckily the UFC and USADA stepped in on Casey’s behalf. Shortly after, the suspension Casey had been handed was lifted, and her win (which had been flipped to a No Contest) restored.
With the drama behind her, Cortney Casey will meet Felice Herrig having gone 3-1 in her last four. The lone loss in that span came to strawweight title challenger Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night 100 in November last year.
UFC 218 takes place December 2 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. More fights are expected to be announced for the card in the near future.