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The Ultimate Fighting Championship is going out with a bang for its year-end card, with a bantamweight thriller added to an already stacked lineup.
According to a report from BJPenn.com on Thursday, Jose Aldo (28-7) will be taking on Marlon Vera (16-6-1) at the UFC Fight Night event on Dec. 19. Aldo and Vera were originally considered to square off at UFC 255, but the matchup fizzled before coming to fruition.
Aldo is in the midst of a three-fight losing streak, the longest of his career. The longtime featherweight king dropped down to bantamweight in December 2019 to take on Marlon Moraes, and he lost a close split decision. With Moraes unable to compete several months later, Aldo stepped over him to face Petr Yan for the 135-pound throne. Aldo reigned over the UFC’s featherweight division for several years after bringing his World Extreme Cagefighting title with him after the merger. His reign included seven UFC title defenses, where he beat the likes of Frankie Edgar, Chan Sung Jung and Kenny Florian on his run.
Vera rebounded from his first loss in nearly two years by busting up Sean O'Malley in August, in the process handing “Sugar” his first career defeat. Vera moved up to featherweight on short notice to fight Yadong Song, thereby still keeping his bantamweight finish streak intact at six with his win over O’Malley. Along the way, Vera has stopped Andre Ewell, Frankie Saenz and Wuliji Buren among others as he moved up the rankings.
The UFC card on Dec. 19 will be headed by a head-scratching welterweight matchup pitting Leon Edwards against Khamzat Chimaev. Also featured on the card include a pivotal welterweight battle between Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal, while other thrilling matchups that night include Moraes vs. Rob Font at bantamweight and Alexandre Pantoja vs. Manel Kape at flyweight.