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Eight fights official for UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro

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Jose Aldo
Jose Aldo
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC is heading to Rio de Janeiro, and the promotion made many match-ups official Friday.

With Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade for the strawweight championship at the Jeunesse Arena on May 11, the pay-per-view event will also feature the return of former featherweight king Jose Aldo against surging contender Alexander Volkanovski.

Aldo (28-4), a former UFC and WEC champion, is coming off of back-to-back TKO wins over Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano, earning a pair of Performance of the Night bonuses in the process. Following his win over Moicano, Aldo’s longtime coach, Andre Pederneiras, called for a fight against the Volkanovski, declaring the Australian “a good opponent.”

To date, the Brazilian veteran holds the record for most successful and consecutive title defenses in UFC featherweight history (7) while finishing 18 of his 28 career victories.

Volkanovski (19-1), a former Australian Fighting Championship titleholder, most recently earned his first career Fight of the Night bonus following his violent TKO win over Chad Mendes at UFC 232 in December. This performance not only kept his UFC record perfect, but marked his 16th straight professional victory.

Prior to his last win, “The Great” rattled off five victories to kick off his UFC career, including stoppages over Jeremy Kennedy and Yusuke Kasuya as well as decisions over Darren Elkins, Shane Young and Mizuto Hirota.

The company also made official seven other bouts, Jared Cannonier vs. Anderson Silva, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Ryan Spann, Luana Carolina vs. Yanan Wu, Irene Aldana vs. Bethe Correia, Thiago Alves vs. Laureano Staropoli and Talita Bernardo vs. Jessica-Rose Clark.

Another former champion will be part of the card, as Hall of Famer B.J. Penn meets Clay Guida in Rio de Janeiro, but the promotion hasn't made it official yet.