October’s UFC Fight Night 54 lineup in Canada has two new additions. Raphael Assuncao (22-4 MMA, 6-1 UFC), who’s ranked No. 5 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, takes on No. 15-ranked Bryan Caraway (19-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC). Additionally, UFC strawweight newcomers Kailin Curran (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Paige VanZant (3-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) are slated to debut against each other.
UFC officials today announced the bouts.
UFC Fight Night 54 takes place Oct. 4 at Halifax Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. No broadcast plans for the card have been announced, though a combination of FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass is expected.
Assuncao, a former WEC fighter who suffered a knockout loss to Erik Koch in his UFC debut, has since rattled off six consecutive victories to move into title contention. The 32-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt most recently earned a unanimous-decision win over Pedro Munhoz, but in his previous performance, he earned a split-decision victory over T.J. Dillashaw, who went on to win the bantamweight belt from Renan Barao.
He now takes on Caraway, who’s also slowly moving into title contention. The 30-year-old, who was a semifinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 14,” has won two straight and five of his past six. All of the wins, including a recent one over Erik Perez, came via submission and led to a pair of fight-night bonuses.
Meanwhile, Curran, a 23-year-old Hawaiian who trains with Reign MMA, turned pro in early 2013 and has posted a trio of decision wins with the Guam-based Pacific Xtreme Combat promotion. She takes on VanZant, a 20-year-old who was too young for a planned spot on the upcoming 20th season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The onetime Invicta FC fighter most recently earned a submission win over Courtney Himes (0-2).
The latest UFC Fight Night 54 card includes:
- Rory MacDonald vs. Tarec Saffiedine
- Raphael Assuncao vs. Bryan Caraway
- Kailin Curran vs. Paige VanZant
(Pictured: Bryan Caraway)