The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s debut in Perth, Australia, now has a pair of new bouts.
UFC 221 will feature a heavyweight contest between former National Rugby League notable Tai Tuivasa and France’s Cyril Asker, as well as a lightweight contest between Australian Damien Brown and all-action brawler “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim.
Australia’s The Daily Telegraph was first to report the pair of contests.
UFC 221 is scheduled for Feb. 10 at the Perth Arena, headlined by UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker’s title defense against former titlist Luke Rockhold.
Asker, 31, has alternated losses and wins since making an unsuccessful UFC debut in April 2016 in a knockout loss to Jared Cannonier. More recently, “The Silverback” choked out China’s Yaozong Hu at UFC Fight Night 122 on Nov. 25 in Shanghai.
Australia’s Tuivasa, officially undefeated at 8-0 in pro MMA competition, made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 121 in his native Sydney. The 24-year-old knocked out Rashad Coulter with a vicious knee in the first round.
Brown, 2-3 in the UFC, is coming off of a raucous split decision loss to Frank Camacho on that same UFC Fight Night 121 bill Down Under, taking “Fight of the Night” honors from the promotion. The loss was the 32-year-old’s second stumble in a row after a first-round knockout at the hands of Vinc Pichel in June.
Kim, 29, started his UFC tenure with a pair of third-round knockout defeats to Dominique Steele and Marco Polo Reyes, the latter gaining him considerable attention for his valiant, violent efforts in the two-way brawl. Since the Reyes loss, South Korea’s “Maestro” has put together consecutive wins, decisioning Australian Brendan O’Reilly and knocking out faded Japanese MMA legend Takanori Gomi on Sept. 22 in a mere 90 seconds.
The UFC made its debut in Australia with UFC 110 in February 2010. UFC 221, the company's first card in Western Australia, will be its 12th in the country.