The GIF King is returning to the kingdom where he made his name. As first reported by MMA Junkie, Chase Sherman will return to the octagon on May 13, taking on Fury FC light heavyweight champ Ike Villanueva.
Also known as “The Vanilla Gorilla,” Sherman (14-6) competed on the big stage from 2016 to 2018, going 2-5 in that span. He also became a popular figure online, growing a large following through his generally quirky use of animated GIFs.
However, a three-fight losing skid saw him cut by the promotion. He’d then move to Island Fights, winning three bouts in that promotion before trying his hand at bare knuckle boxing, under the BKFC banner. Going 1-1-1 in that endeavor, he earned the BKFC Heavyweight Championship and the Police Gazette Heavyweight American Championship in August 2019, before losing the titles months later against Joey Beltran.
Still, with the UFC in need of fighters able to compete, and Sherman on a three-fight win streak in MMA, he’s punched his ticket to return to the octagon.
There, he’ll welcome Fury FC’s Ike Villanueva (16-9), winner of four straight fights in three different weight classes, spanning from middleweight to heavyweight. His last two bouts came at 205lbs, where he won and defended the Fury FC light heavyweight title — with his most recent victory coming against UFC veteran Rashad Coulter.
Villanueva has previously fought for Bellator MMA, Legacy FC, and TKO, among other promotions.
The UFC’s May 13 card takes place at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The event is expected to air on ESPN+, and TSN in Canada.