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TUF 23 winner Andrew Sanchez drops to middleweight, fights Trevor Smith at UFC Fight Night 102

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After winning The Ultimate Fighter 23 as a light heavyweight, 28-year-old prospect Andrew Sanchez is dropping back down to his natural weight class at middleweight to fight Trevor Smith on Dec. 9 at UFC Fight Night 102. The UFC announced the match-up on Thursday.

Sanchez (8-2) won four consecutive bouts on TUF 23 to capture the season's crown, defeating Phil Hawes, Myron Dennis, and Eric Spicely on the show, then dominating Khalil Rountree to win a lopsided decision in the season finale. A former RFA middleweight champion, Sanchez has finished all but one of his professional victories via stoppage.

He'll now begin his UFC journey in earnest against Smith (14-6), a hard-nosed veteran who recently put together the first winning streak of his UFC career with a pair of decisions over Dan Miller and Joe Gigliotti. Prior to that, Smith struggled, losing four of his first six Octagon bouts, including a pair of losses to Thales Leites and Caio Magalhaes which ended in less than 46 seconds.

UFC Fight Night 102 takes place at Times Union Center in Albany, New York. The entire event will stream live on UFC Fight Pass and is headlined by a heavyweight contest between Derrick Lewis and Shamil Abdurakhimov.

An updated UFC Fight Night 102 fight card can be seen below.

  • Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Hamilton
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Patrick Cummins vs. Gian Villante
  • Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Joseph Gigliotti
  • Tatiana Suarez vs. Juliana Lima
  • Corey Anderson vs. Sean O'Connell
  • Randy Brown vs. Charlie Ward
  • Andrew Sanchez vs. Trevor Smith
  • Tiago Trator vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
  • Keith Berish vs. Ryan Janes