After weeks of reports and rumors about matchups expected to take place at the UFC’s debut in Madison Square Garden, five bouts have finally been made official for the card.
The welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Kelvin Gastelum has been confirmed in addition to Frankie Edgar vs Jeremy Stephens at 145 pounds and Rashad Evans’ middleweight debut against Tim Kennedy.
Cerrone (31-7, 1 NC) has been on a tear ever since moving up to welterweight following his loss to now former UFC lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos in December last year. He most recently faced Rick Story at UFC 202 and won the bout via TKO in the second round. Gastelum (12-2) is coming off of his UFC 200 decision victory over former champ Johny Hendricks. Cerrone was originally expected to face Robbie Lawler but Lawler was forced to withdraw from the fight for undisclosed reasons.
After winning five fights straight and going undefeated in three years, Edgar (20-5-1) was awarded a rematch against Jose Aldo for the interim featherweight title at UFC 200 but ended up losing a decision. Prior to that, he knocked out Chad Mendes in the first round of their headlining bout at the TUF 22 finale. Stephens (25-12), meanwhile, is 2-1 in his last three and is coming off of one of his biggest victories of his career against former champion Renan Barao.
Evans (19-5-1) announced earlier this year that he would be giving the 185-pound division a shot after losing two straight to Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira. Kennedy (18-5) has not fought since his controversial TKO loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 178 in 2014.
The other announced bouts are Rafael Natal vs Tim Boetsch at middleweight and Liz Carmouche vs Katlyn Chookagian at bantamweight.
The welterweight title fight between newly-crowned champion Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen Thompson hasn’t yet been confirmed, despite Woodley’s announcing of the bout during a UFC pre- weigh-in show. Also, reports about Chris Weidman’s return against Yoel Romero at UFC 205 have been emerging lately but the UFC has not commented on it and a tweet by Ariel Helwani says the bout isn’t yet scheduled.
UFC 205 takes place at Madison Square Garden in NYC on November 12.