East Coast MMA star Gavin Tucker to debut at UFC's Halifax show
Feb. 19 Fight Night now features heavyweight clash between rising star Derrick Lewis and veteran Travis Browne
Halifax's revamped UFC card next month features the debut of a local champion, two new heavyweights, a former welterweight champion and the younger brother of one of Canada's top MMA trainers.
The Feb. 19 card lost its main event earlier this month when Stefan Struve withdrew due to injury. Now, heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Travis Browne will fight in the main event. Lewis has won five straight matches, while Browne has lost two straight and four of his last six. Browne was in the audience the last time the UFC came to Halifax.
The new co-main event pits former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks against veteran contender Hector Lombard. Hendricks lost the belt in 2014 and has struggled to make weight and win fights since.
Tucker taking on UFC veteran
Gavin Tucker, a former ECC champion in Atlantic Canada, signed with the UFC earlier this week and is now listed as fighting Sam Sicilia in Halifax in a featherweight match. Sicilia has fought 11 times in the UFC and is 15-7 overall.
Tucker, a Newfoundlander now training with Titans MMA in Halifax, is a perfect 9-0. He last fought in July and scored a first-round knockout.
Canadian Elias Theodorou will fight Cezar Ferreira in a middleweight bout.
Sara McMann will fight Liz Carmouche in the women's bantamweight division. Both women lost to then-champion Ronda Rousey and will look to use a win to propel themselves back into title contention.
On Friday, Aiemann Zahabi tweeted that he'll make his UFC debut at the Halifax show with a bantamweight bout against Reginaldo Vieira. Zahabi trains with his older brother Firas Zahabi at Montreal's legendary Tristar gym, home of MMA giant Georges St.-Pierre.
Can't wait to step in the octagon! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ufchalifax?src=hash">#ufchalifax</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/roadtoufc?src=hash">#roadtoufc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ufc?src=hash">#ufc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/tristar?src=hash">#tristar</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/mtl?src=hash">#mtl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/lovetheprocess?src=hash">#lovetheprocess</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/teamAZ?src=hash">#teamAZ</a> <a href="https://t.co/EadjCod0A1">pic.twitter.com/EadjCod0A1</a>—@Aiemannzahabi