A bantamweight fight that will be guaranteed fireworks will happen at a UFC event in June.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN was first to report the news that Brazil’s Raoni Barcelos will fight Timur Valiev on June 26 at a yet-to-be-announced UFC event. Valiev would confirm the news on his Instagram Story.
Barcelos (16-1) is undefeated in the UFC with five wins and is riding a nine-fight win streak that dates to 2015. The Brazilian is coming off a unanimous decision win over Khalid Taha at UFC on ESPN: Santos vs. Teixeira last November; the pair would receive Fight of the Night honors. Barcelos would hop back into action a month later against Merab Dvalishvili, but a medical suspension put a halt to that. Barcelos was scheduled to face No. 10 ranked bantamweight Raphael Assuncao, but the fight fizzled out due to an injury, and then Barcelos tested positive for COVID.
Valiev (17-2) got back on track in February with a unanimous decision win over Martin Day. The Dagestan fighter had his six-fight win streak snapped in his UFC debut against Trevin Jones. He would get stopped in the second round in a wild comeback by Jones; the fight would be overturned to a no contest because of a positive marijuana test.
The winner of this fight can easily be ranked in the top 15.
With the latest addition, the UFC’s June 26 fight card now looks like this:
- Ciryl Gane vs. Alexander Volkov
- Raoni Barcelos vs. Timur Valiev
- Maxim Grishin vs. Ovince Saint Preux
- Anthony Hernandez vs. Punahele Soriano
- Tim Elliott vs. Su Mudaerji
- Michel Prazeres vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov
- Justin Jaynes vs. Charles Rosa