After a lengthy injury layoff, Tristan Connelly returns.
MMA Junkie was first to report the news that Canada’s Connelly will welcome Pat Sabatini to the UFC on April 24 at UFC 261. Promotion officials would later announce the fight on social media, as did both of the fighters involved.
Connelly (14-6) has been out of action since September 2019 due to neck surgery. He made his UFC debut on short notice against the flashy Michel Pereira. “Boondock” would weather the storm in the first round and grind out a unanimous decision. Connelly is riding a five-fight win streak that dates back to 2017.
Sabatini (13-3) finally makes his long-awaited UFC debut. He was supposed to make his debut in February at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis against Rafael Alves, but his opponent struggled with his weight cut, and the fight was cancelled. Sabatini is riding a two-fight win streak and captured the CFFC vacant featherweight in his last fight against Jesse Stirn at CFFC 91 in December.
UFC 261 takes place on April 24, with the octagon returning to the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Three title fights headline the card.
The card looks as follows so far:
- Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Jorge Masvidal – for the UFC welterweight championship
- Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Jessica Andrade – for the UFC women’s flyweight championship
- Zhang Weili (c) vs. Rose Namajunas – for the UFC women’s strawweight championship
- Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman
- Jimmy Crute vs. Anthony Smith
- Brendan Allen vs. Karl Roberson
- Randy Brown vs. Alex Oliveira
- Danaa Batgerel vs. Kevin Natividad
- Qileng Aori vs. Jeffrey Molina
- Johnny Munoz vs. Jamey Simmons
- Kazula Vargas vs. Rong Zhu
- Ariane Carnelossi vs. Na Liang
- Tristan Connelly vs. Pat Sabatini