The Ultimate Fighter 27 featherweight champion Brad Katona is set to begin his UFC career in earnest.
On Friday, the UFC announced that Katona will drop back down to 135 pounds to fight Matthew Lopez at UFC 231 on Dec. 8 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Katona, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, sports a spotless record in seven pro bouts. He won the TUF 27 featherweight tournament earlier this year, defeating Kyler Phillips and Bryce Mitchell on the reality show before winning a unanimous decision over Jay Cucciniello at the finale in July. He currently trains out of the Straight Blast Gym in Ireland.
Lopez (10-3) made his way to the UFC after being spotted on Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight YouTube show. He was submitted in his Octagon debut by Rani Yahya, but bounced back with consecutive wins over Johnny Eduardo and Mitch Gagnon. He then went on to lose his last two fights to Alejandro Perez and Raphael Assuncao, both by knockout.
UFC 231 does not currently have a headliner, though a bout for the vacant women’s flyweight title will take place between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko at the event, and a bout between featherweight champion Max Holloway and Brian Ortega has been rumored to be in the works.
See the updated UFC 231 card below (bout order to be determined:
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Chad Laprise vs. Dhiego Lima
Hakeem Dawodu vs. Kyle Bochniak
Devin Clark vs. Aleksandar Rakic
Claudia Gadelha vs. Nina Ansaroff
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Gilbert Burns
Brad Katona vs. Matthew Lopez