UFC announce multiple fights with Dominick Cruz and Francis Ngannou back in action

  • Cruz will return after a year out to face number three contender Jimmie Rivera.

  • Ngannou will face Alistair Overeem at UFC 218.

Cruz is set to return to action after a year's absenceGetty

The UFC have announced multiple fights to end the year with, including two bouts, which are essentially number one contender contests.

Dominick Cruz will return to action exactly one year on from his bantamweight title loss to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 as he will take on number three-ranked contender Jimmie Rivera at UFC 218 on 30 December.

Cruz (22-2 record in MMA) has been recovering since his defeat last December and was expecting to face the winner of the bantamweight title bout between Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw.

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However, with their initial fight called off for UFC 213 in June, now taking place at UFC 217 in November, Cruz will face Rivera (21-1 record in MMA) in a bout that will undoubtedly decide the next challenger for the 125-pound belt.

Rivera has been on an impressive 20-fight winning streak and has defeated the likes of Urijah Faber and Thomas Almeida as he seeks a title shot.

Meanwhile, exciting heavyweight prospect Frances Ngannou will be back in action as he will receive his biggest test yet in the UFC as he takes on MMA legend and number one-ranked contender Alistair Overeem at UFC 218 on 2 December.

Ngannou (10-1 record in MMA) was last in action in January where he defeated former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski by knockout and was expected to face Junior Dos Santos at UFC 215 in September.

However, the Brazilian was pulled from the event due to an anti-doping violation, leaving the Cameroon native with no opponent.

Having previously spoken of his desire to face a top contender and earn a title shot, Ngannou will now get his wish as he will lock horns with Overeem (43-15-1 record in MMA), who most recently defeated Fabricio Werdum at UFC 213 in June.

With the Dutch fighter having already lost recently to heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic back at UFC 203, he will put his number one ranking on the line against Ngannou as the winner of the bout looks highly likely to take on the Cleveland native for the strap.

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A women's strawweight has also been added for UFC 219 as talented Alpha Male prospect Cynthia Calvillo (6-0 record in MMA) will take on former champion Carla Esparza (12-4 record in MMA).

More fights will be added soon as the UFC looks to bounce back from what has been a disappointing 2017 and end the year strong as they did in 2016.

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