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Artem Lobov vs. Zubaira Tukhugov booked for UFC Moncton

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UFC 202 Weigh-ins Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Artem Lobov and Zubaira Tukhugov will make their returns to the Octagon when they face off at UFC Moncton on Oct. 27.

The UFC announced the featherweight fight through its social media feeds on Monday following an initial report from Red Fury MMA, via Instagram.

Lobov (14-14-1) was set to face Alex Caceres at UFC 223, but was pulled from the card due to his involvement in the infamous bus attack with teammate and friend, Conor McGregor. Shortly after the incident took place, UFC president Dana White asserted that “The Russian Hammer” would not take part in the Brooklyn event.

The SBG featherweight has compiled a record of 2-4 with the UFC beginning with the decision loss he suffered in his debut against Ryan Hall in the lightweight final of TUF 22. After dropping another decision loss to Alex White, Lobov bounced back with consecutive wins over Chris Avila and Teruto Ishihara. He lost back-to-back decisions to Cub Swanson and Andre Fili in his last two fights. By the time he takes to the Octagon in Moncton it will be over a year since he has competed.

Tukhugov (18-4-0) will compete the first time since committing a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency violation, stemming from two out-of-competition tests in September and October 2016. As a result he was forced from his UFC Albany meeting with Tiago Trator, which was set to take place on Dec. 9, 2016.

The Russian has built a record of 3-1 with the UFC. He took his sole UFC defeat in his last outing when he lost a split decision to now top-ranked featherweight Renato Moicano. He scored a decision win in his promotional debut against Douglas Andrade. He followed up the debut victory with a first round TKO of Ernest Chavez, before taking his third win under the banner with a split decision nod over Phillipe Nover.

With Lobov being a teammate of McGregor, and Tukhugov a teammate of Nurmagomedov, some fans have pondered why this fight will not take place on the undercard of UFC 229. According to John Balfe of The Mac Life, Tukhugov’s USADA suspension will not be up in time for him to compete on at the Oct. 6 event.