Blagoy Ivanov has not been seen inside the octagon for nearly two years, but that is expected to change come May’s UFC 274.
Ivanov (18-4, 1NC) has been booked opposite Brazilian heavyweight Marcos Rogerio de Lima (19-7-1) at the PPV event. BJPenn.com was first to report the pairing, which Rogerio de Lima later confirmed on social media.
When last he competed, Ivanov, a former WSOF heavyweight champion, dropped a split decision against Augusto Sakai. That marked Ivanov’s second straight split decision loss; the other came against Derrick Lewis. Prior to those setbacks, he’d picked up back-to-back wins against Ben Rothwell and Tai Tuivasa.
Ivanov missed all of 2021; by the time he returns, he’ll be just weeks shy of a full two years on the sidelines.
Rogerio de Lima competed twice last year, winning both fights. “Pezao” first took a decision victory against Maurice Greene, then finished “Big” Ben Rothwell via TKO in November.
UFC 274 is set to take place on May 7, 2022 — and while originally targeted for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that is expected to shift. Two title fights top the card: Glover Teixeira will defend his light heavyweight title against Jiri Prochazka, while Charles Oliveira puts his lightweight belt on the line against Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje. The card currently features the following reported bouts:
- Glover Teixeira (c) vs. Jiří Procházka – for the UFC light heavyweight championship
- Charles Oliveira (c) vs. Justin Gaethje – for the UFC lightweight championship
- Macy Chiasson vs. Norma Dumont
- Ariane Carnelossi vs. Lupita Godinez
- Blagoy Ivanov vs. Marcos Rogério de Lima