A previously-reported bout between Brazilian light heavyweights Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker will serve as the five-round main event for UFC’s Fight Night show on Sept. 25, multiple people with knowledge of the booking told MMA Fighting.
The company has yet to officially announce the card and other matchups. The UFC is expected to hold all Fight Night shows this year at Las Vegas’ UFC APEX.
Santos (21-9) aims to snap an uncomfortable losing skid when he returns to the octagon in the third quarter of 2021.
“Marreta” hasn’t won a fight since a third-round knockout over Jan Blachowicz in Feb. 2019, losing three in a row to Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic. Santos started at 3-0 as a light heavyweight with stoppages over Eryk Anders, Jimi Manuwa and Blachowicz to earn a shot at then-champion “Bones” Jones, losing a close decision.
Walker (18-5) gets his first headlining spot in the promotion after a thrilling first-round win over Ryan Spann this past September, bouncing back to the winning column from defeats to Corey Anderson and Nikita Krylov.
Walker pocketed “Performance of the Night” bonuses in his first three octagon appearances in 2018 and 2019, stopping Khalil Rountree, Justin Ledet and Misha Cirkunov in a combined time of 2:58.