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UFC returns to Phoenix for January 15th event on FS1

The UFC is already working on its 2017 schedule, which includes a Fight Night card in Phoenix, Arizona.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
We've still got 10 more UFC shows to get through before 2016 is over, but the first Fight Night card of 2017 is already confirmed, and has three announced fights.

UFC officials on Friday revealed that Phoenix, Arizona's Talking Stick Resort Arena (formerly US Airways Arena), home to the NBA's Phoenix Suns, will host a UFC on FS1 card on Sunday, January 15th, which is the same day as FOX's coverage of the NFL divisional round playoffs. On tap for this event are the following bouts, all of which would make you think that this was actually a Europe-based Fight Pass show instead of a card in Arizona:

None of these fighters is coming off a win. Smolyakov was submitted by Luis Henrique, Asker was KO'd by Jared Cannonier, Pesta was head kick KO'd by Marcin Tybura, Grabowski was mauled by Anthony Hamilton in about 15 seconds, Christensen was submitted by Luis Henrique (not the same one who beat Smolyakov), and Bihajlovic was wrecked by Francis Ngannou.

The last time the UFC went to Phoenix was for UFC on FOX 13 in December 2014. In the main event, Junior dos Santos topped Stipe Miocic by unanimous decision, while Rafael dos Anjos pummeled an overweight Nate Diaz to earn a lightweight title shot.

More fights will be announced in the coming weeks, with tickets on sale later this month.

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