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Two Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweights looking for their first win inside the Octagon will clash in June.
The news first came from MMA DNA, Josh Parisian (13-4) will try once more to win one in the UFC against fellow struggling heavyweight Roque Martinez (15-7-2) on June 19. This UFC Fight Night event does not yet have a location set, although it likely will take place either in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas or on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Parisian confirmed the news of this pairing on his Instagram.
Parisian, the first heavyweight to ever record a spinning back fist knockout in combined Zuffa history, did so on his first trip to Dana White's Contender Series in 2018. The stellar finish did not earn him a place on the roster, and instead a slot on Season 28 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Unsuccessful in this run on TUF, Parisian had to rattle off five knockout wins in smaller leagues to get another crack at the Contender Series in 2020. There, he pounded out Chad Johnson to finally add his name to the ranks of those to enter the Octagon. His debut was ultimately unsuccessful, as Parker Porter won a decision over him in November.
Roque made his way to the UFC in a drastically different way than his opponent, working his way through Deep and Rizin Fighting Federation in Japan, recording finishes in each of his wins for those promotions. A pair of knockouts over Seigo Mizuguchi and Hideki Sekine prompted his signing with the Las Vegas-based league, where he went on to face “King Kong” Alexander Romanov in his first test. Ragdolled until he tapped out from an arm-triangle choke from the Moldovan, Martinez then looked to rebound against Don'Tale Mayes two months later, only to drop a decision after a slugfest.
There is no headliner yet booked for the UFC Fight Night card on June 19, which currently does not have an official location. The only other matchup currently slated for the card is a welterweight banger between Dhiego Lima and Matt Brown.