Rather surprisingly, UFC light heavyweight veteran Ilir Latifi will not be on the promotion’s Stockholm card in May. Instead, he’ll be fighting in Oklahoma City on Sunday, June 25th against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. UFC officials announced the new matchup on Thursday.
Latifi (12-5, 1 NC) hasn’t fought since a knockout loss to Ryan Bader at UFC Hamburg last September. “The Sledgehammer” entered that fight on a three-fight winning streak, but was unable to make it four straight victories for the first time in his MMA career. Four of his five UFC wins have occurred in the opening round, including consecutive knockouts over Hans Stringer and Sean O’Connell.
Nogueira (22-8) has lost three of his last four, including a woefully one-sided TKO loss to Ryan Bader — hey, I’m sensing a pattern here — in the UFC Sao Paulo main event in November. The only victory the 40-year-old has notched in the last three years is a first-round TKO of Patrick Cummins at UFC 198.
The current UFC rankings have Latifi at #10 and Nogueira at #11.