Jared Vanderaa vs. Justin Tafa Added to UFC’s May 22 Card

Jared Vanderaa and Sergey Spivak, UFC
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 20: (L-R) Jared Vanderaa kicks Serghei Spivac of the Ukraine in a heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Contender Series alum Jared Vanderaa will make his second walk to the UFC octagon on May 22, opposite New Zealand’s Justin Tafa.

On Friday, Cageside Press confirmed with a source close to the situation that the pair would throw down, following an initial report by MMA Fighting. The UFC has not officially announced the pairing.

Vanderaa (11-5) battered Harry Hunsucker on Dana White’s Contender Series last season to earn himself a UFC deal. He made his debut in February against Sergey Spivak, an opponent he had called for after the pair missed each other on the regional scene. Vanderaa lost the bout, ending up on the wrong end of a second-round TKO.

He’ll look to bounce back against Tafa (4-2), who is 1-2 inside the octagon to date. Known as the “Bad Man,” Tafa posted a 3-0 record before joining the UFC in 2019. He came up short in his debut against Yorgan De Castro at UFC 243, before bouncing back the following year with a win over Juan Adams. After vanquishing “The Kraken,” Tafa returned this past January, losing a split decision to Carlos Felipe at UFC on ABC 1.

The UFC’s May 22 date does not yet have an official location, venue, or broadcast plans announced. The event currently consists of the following bouts:

Felicia Spencer vs. Danyelle Wolf
Xionan Yan vs. Carla Esparza
David Dvorak vs. Raulian Paiva
Denys Bondar vs. Victor Rodriguez
Rodrigo Nascimento vs. Alan Baudot
Justin Tafa vs. Jared Vanderaa