Officials announced Thursday that Saki (1-2) and Safarov (8-2) will meet in a light heavyweight bout at UFC London on March 16 at The O2 Arena. The event will air live on the ESPN+ streaming service.
Saki will look to rebound from a first-round KO loss to Khalil Rountree at UFC 226 in July. The 35-year-old Turkish-Dutch fighter made his Octagon debut last December with a first-round KO of his own against Henrique da Silva. A decorated kickboxer, who has competed for K-1 and Glory, Saki has competed just three times in MMA since making his debut in July 2004.
On a two-fight skid, Dagestan’s Safarov hasn’t won since April 2016. His UFC debut in December 2016 saw him lose via second-round TKO to Gian Villante and he wouldn’t compete again until 14 months later when he was submitted by Tyson Pedro inside of a round at UFC 221. Safarov was 8-0 as a pro before signing with the UFC and has never gone to a decision.