Youssef Zalal-Sean Woodson, Ilir Latifi-Tanner Boser Booked on June 5 UFC Fight Night

By: Jay Pettry
Mar 12, 2021

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Two fun matchups have been added to the first Ultimate Fighting Championship event in June.

On Friday, MMA Junkie reported that Youssef Zalal (10-4) would be facing Sean Woodson (7-1) at the UFC Fight Night card on June 5. The event does not officially have a location set, although it is anticipated to be held in either the UFC Apex in Las Vegas or on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Zalal confirmed the matchup on his social media. There is no headliner set for this event, but an expected main card tilt comes at heavyweight between Marcin Tybura and Walt Harris.

Zalal came into the UFC and blasted off with a three-fight win streak in 2020, recording wins over Austin Lingo, Jordan Griffin and Peter Barrett. When attempting to approach the record later set by Kevin Holland for appearances in 2020, Ilia Topuria handed him a defeat at UFC Fight Night 179. “The Moroccan Devil” looked to rebound from the defeat, only to drop another decision, this time to Seung Woo Choi in February. The Factory X product had never won a fight on the scorecards before joining the UFC, with all of his previous victories coming inside the distance.

Woodson made his way to the promotion with a spectacular, contract-winning flying knee over Terrance McKinney at the third season of Dana White's Contender Series in 2019. Woodson’s promotional debut proved successful as he earned a unanimous verdict over Kyle Bochniak. His sophomore effort was not as smooth, as short-notice replacement Julian Erosa handed him his first career loss when Woodson surrendered to a brabo choke in June 2020.

Additionally, heavyweights Ilir Latifi (14-8, 1 NC) and Tanner Boser (19-7-1) will square off on this card as well, per MMA Empire in Canada. This clash was later confirmed by other outlets.

Latifi returned to the heavyweight category in his last time out, dropping a hard-fought decision to Derrick Lewis at UFC 247. The fight at heavyweight was his first since 2008, where his first two career bouts came above the 206-pound limit. His MMA debut came against current UFC contender Blagoy Ivanov, and the two big men broke the Bulgarian ring to reach a no contest.

The Canadian’s UFC career has been a rocky one, with wins over Daniel Spitz, Philipe Lins and Raphael Pessoa interspersed between tough setbacks against Andrei Arlovski and Ciryl Gane. Even though the majority of Boser’s bouts dating back to 2016 have gone the distance, “The Bulldozer” still maintains a decent stoppage rate of 63 percent, with three knockouts in his last four victories.

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