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The Ultimate Fighting Championship is further bolstering its March 13 show with what should be fireworks in the middleweight division.
First reporting this news on Friday was MMA Junkie, which stated that Eryk Anders (13-5) will be taking on Darren Stewart (12-6, 1 NC) on March 13. The UFC Fight Night card on that date does not yet have a venue finalized, although it will likely come down to either the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, or Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This news has since been confirmed by other outlets.
A two-fight win streak for Anders came to an end in May 2020, when Kryzsztof Jotko captured a unanimous verdict over the former University of Alabama linebacker. The two prior wins coming over Vinicius Moreira Castro and Gerald Meerschaert, “Ya Boi” was on the winning track after a trio of setbacks to Thiago Santos, Elias Theodorou and Khalil Rountree. The Alabama native posts a 69 percent finish rate, and he holds one of the only soccer kick knockouts in UFC history when he punted Tim Williams in 2018.
“The Dentist” has alternated wins and losses in his last four, with victories over Deron Winn and Maki Pitolo interspersed between decision defeats to Bartosz Fabinski and Kevin Holland. Of note, his match with Fabinski came officially under the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship banner, when the UFC lent the two fighters to CW as the coronavirus pandemic scuttled Stewart and Fabinski’s matchups for a UFC show. Anders will be one of a small number of recent opponents for Stewart that did not appear on Dana White's Contender Series, as seven of Stewart’s last 10 foes had come up from DWCS.
The March 13 UFC Fight Night card should take place either in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas or in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The marquee matchup of the event brings a welterweight scrap between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev. Key bouts placed on the main card include a heavyweight rumble between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane, while Ryan Hall makes his return at featherweight against Dan Ige.