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Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov headlines UFC Albany, more bouts added

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC's first trip to upstate New York in a long time has a big main event. Literally.

Heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Shamil Abdurakhimov will square off in the headliner Dec. 9 in Albany, the UFC announced Friday along with a host of other bouts for the card. Francis Ngannou will meet Anthony Hamilton in the co-main event.

Also at the event, Aljamain Sterling meets Raphael Assuncao in a bantamweight contender bout, Gian Villante takes on Patrick Cummins in a matchup of strong light heavyweights and Queens native Randy Brown takes on Ireland's Charlie Ward, a teammate of Conor McGregor.

Lewis (16-4, 1 NC) has won four in a row, most recently a split decision victory over Roy Nelson in July. The previous three victories were all by knockout. Lewis, 31, was supposed to face Marcin Tybura in the main event of UFC Manila later this month, but the event was cancelled.

Abdurakhimov (17-3) is coming off a split decision win over Walt Harris last month. He has won two straight and five of his last six fights. The 35-year-old Dagestan native only has one loss in the UFC, to Timothy Johnson in April 2015.

Ngannou (8-1) is one of the hottest prospects in the heavyweight division with three knockouts in three UFC fights. The 30-year-old Frenchmen has not lost since 2013 and has finished every victory. Hamilton (15-5) is coming off a 14-second knockout of Damian Grabowski at UFC 201 in July. The 36-year-old JacksonWink MMA product has alternated wins and losses going back to 2015.

UFC Fight Night 102 will also feature Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Joe Gigliotti, Keith Berish vs. Ryan Janes, Tatiana Suarez vs. Juliana Lima, Corey Anderson vs. Sean O'Connell and Tiago Trator vs. Zubaira Tukhagov.

The event marks the second UFC show in New York State since the sport was legalized there back in April. It is also the first UFC card in upstate New York since UFC 7: The Brawl in Buffalo in 1995.