A trio of Australian fighters will be making the flight to New Zealand for their next appointments.
Following the news that a lightweight bout between Paul Felder and Dan Hooker will headline the UFC’s return to Auckland on Feb. 22, three more matchups have been added to the card. Tyson Pedro, Jake Matthews, and Ben Sosoli will all be representing Australia when the Octagon lands in Spark Arena, officials announced via social media Wednesday.
In a light heavyweight matchup, Pedro (7-3) faces Brazil’s Vinicius Moreira (9-4). Pedro has lost three of his last four bouts and will be looking to pick up his first win in two years against Moreira, who has lost all three of his UFC appearances inside of a round.
Matthews (15-4) meets Norway’s Emil Meek (9-4, 1 NC) in a welterweight contest. The 25-year-old Matthews is 4-1 in in his last five, most recently defeating Rostem Akman by unanimous decision at UFC 243 in October.
For Meek, he will be competing for the first time since July 2018. Meek was forced to withdraw from his lone booking of 2019, a meeting with Sultan Aliev at UFC St. Petersburg, and he recently said on MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast that the past year has been a “sh*tstorm with injury after injury.” He has lost his last two fights.
The third announced bout is a heavyweight matchup between Sosoli (7-2, 2 NC) and Marcos Rogerio de Lima (16-6-1). Sosoli was a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter 28 and a Dana White’s Contender Series participant who finally made his official UFC debut this past October against Greg Hardy. Unfortunately, he ended up adding a second consecutive no contest to his record after losing a unanimous decision that was later overturned due to Hardy illegally using an inhaler between rounds.
De Lima, also a TUF contestant, is 1-2 since returning to the heavyweight division. In his most recent outing in February, he lost by second-round submission to Stefan Struve.
The UFC Auckland main card will air live on the ESPN+ streaming service.