The UFC have announced today that Sweden’s Ilir Latifi will face Sean O’Connell at UFC Fight Night 81.
UFC Fight Night 81 will be held on January 17, 2016 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. A UFC Bantamweight Championship bout between current champion T.J. Dillashaw and former UFC and WEC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is expected to headline this event.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 29, 2015
Latifi (10-4-1 MMA) is currently 3-2 under the ZUFFA banner. Latifi made his UFC debut against Gegard Mousasi on April 6, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV 9, on a very short notice, replacing his injured training partner Alexander Gustafsson. Latifi lost to Mousasi by unanimous decision. Since the loss, Latifi won two in a row (Cyrille Diabaté and Chris Dempsey) followed by a TKO loss to Jan Błachowicz in Sweden. His latest UFC performance was arguably his most impressive, stopping Hans Stringer via KO in the first round at the UFC’s debut in Scotland earlier this year.
O’Connell (17-6 MMA) lost his first two bouts inside the octagon however has followed up with two victories of his own. Losses to Ryan Jimmo (KO) and Gian Villante (decision) were followed by victories over Matt Van Buren (TKO) and Anthony Perosh (TKO). ‘The Real OC’ earned ‘Fight of the Night’ honours for his loss to Gian Villante and his win over Matt Van Buren
With this fight announcement, UFC Fight Night 81 now looks like this:
T.J. Dillashaw (c) vs. Dominick Cruz – for the UFC Bantamweight title
Anthony Pettis vs. Eddie Alvarez
Travis Browne vs. Matt Mitrione
Tim Boetsch vs. Ed Herman
Paul Felder vs. Daron Cruickshank
Ben Saunders vs. Patrick Côté
Charles Rosa vs. Jimy Hettes
Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs. Francimar Barroso
Ross Pearson vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Ilir Latifi vs. Sean O’Connell