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Gokhan Saki vs. Saparbek Safarov announced for UFC London

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Gokhan Saki (pictured) fights Saparbek Safarov in a light heavyweight bout at UFC London on March 16
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Gokhan Saki and Saparbek Safarov have their first fight of 2019 booked.

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.