Justin Gaethje has a new opponent for his lightweight title defense at World Series of Fighting 34 on New Year’s Eve.
The promotion announced on Tuesday that Luiz Firmino will replace the injured Joao Zeferino and face Gaethje in the headlining bout on Dec. 31. The nature of Zeferino’s injury was not disclosed. WSOF 34 takes place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City and features four title fights. The evening’s main card airs on both NBC Sports Network (3 p.m. ET-4 p.m. ET) and NBC (4 p.m. ET-6 p.m. ET).
“Our entire team wishes Joao Zeferino a full and speedy recovery, and hopes to see him return soon,” WSOF President Ray Sefo said in a release.“Luiz Firmino is a veteran of professional MMA and no stranger to our decagon cage. His addition to a premier title fight against current lightweight champion Justin Gaethje at WSOFNYC makes for an exceptional matchup.”
Firmino saw a six-fight winning streak come to an end in his most recent outing when he was submitted by Brian Foster in the first round at WSOF 33 on Oct. 7. “Buscape” owns notable wins against Caros Fodor, Tyson Griffin, Jacob Volkmann and Luis Palomino, to name a few.
Gaethje is unbeaten in 16 professional appearances, including a first-round TKO stoppage of Foster in his most recent outing at WSOF 29.