A pair of top 15 middleweights will collide in July, looking to climb into the top 10 of the UFC.
MMA Fighting was the first to report that No. 13 ranked middleweight Omari Akhmedov will fight No. 14 Brad Tavares on July 10 at a yet-to-be-announced UFC event. Akhmedov would confirm the booking on his Instagram.
Akhmedov (21-5-1) got back in the win column back in January with a second-round submission over Tom Breese at UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny. The Russian had his six-fight win streak snapped against Chris Weidman in his only fight of 2020. Akhmedov was riding high with wins over Ian Heinisch, Zak Cummings, Tim Boetsch and went to a draw with Marvin Vettori.
Long-time UFC veteran Tavares (18-6) got a much-needed win in January as well to keep his position in the rankings. He defeated Antonio Carlos Júnior via unanimous decision, also giving him his walking papers. The Hawaiian snapped a two-fight losing streak, in which he lost to prospect Edmen Shahbazyan and current champion Israel Adesanya.
A win by either man could see them get a top 10 spot in the rankings.
No location, venue, or broadcast plan has been reported for the UFC’s July 10 event, although it is speculated to be UFC 264.
As of now, the only other fights reported for this card are:
- Ryan Hall vs. Ilia Tourpia
- Jessica Eye vs. Jennifer Maia