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Latest Fantasy MMA News – UFC

The most recent UFC fantasy MMA news from RotoWire.

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Josh Emmett    UFC    Featherweight
Emmett will battle Jeremy Stephens in a featherweight fight at UFC on FOXZ 28 on Feb. 24, Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Emmett -- who is coming off an impressive first-round knockout victory over Ricardo Lamas in December -- will look to hand Stephens his first loss in his last three UFC appearances next month in Orlando. Stephens defeated Doo Ho Choi via second-round TKO at UFC St. Louis on Jan. 14.
Jeremy Stephens    UFC    Featherweight
Stephens will take on Josh Emmett in a featherweight fight at UFC on FOX 28 on Feb. 24, Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Stephens and Emmett will headline the event taking place in Orlando. Stephens defeated Doo Ho Choi via TKO on Jan. 14 to win his second consecutive UFC bout, while Josh Emmett is coming off of a first-round knockout of Ricardo Lamas at UFC on FOX 26 in December of 2017.
Russell Doane    UFC    Bantamweight
Doane will face Rani Yahya in a bantamweight matchup at UFC Orlando on Feb. 24, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Doane had lost four UFC bouts in a row and had likely been starting at release, but bounced back in a big way with a TKO victory over Kwan Ho Kwak back in June. He'll now take on a much grittier veteran in Yahya -- a submission artist with nine UFC victories under his belt. Though Doane has youth on his side, he'll presumably enter as the betting underdog against the Brazilian.
Rani Yahya    UFC    Bantamweight
Yahya will take on Russell Doane in a bantamweight matchup at UFC Orlando on Feb. 24, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Yahya has been with the UFC since 2011, and has lost only one fight in the last three years. Though he had to withdraw from his last matchup against Aljamain Sterling, it appears his health is in order at this time. The Brazilian is a grappling artist by trade, with 18 career submissions and zero victories via KO/TKO. He'll be facing an American fighter in Doane that is likely on his last legs with the promotion, having gone 1-4 in his last five bouts.
Sara McMann    UFC    Bantamweight
McMann is now in line to face Marion Reneau on Feb. 24 in Orlando after Yana Kinitskaya was forced to withdraw due to injury, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

McMann had been riding a three-fight winning streak before having it snapped against Ketlen Vieira in September, but will get the opportunity to bounce back against the 40-year-old Reneau. McMann's best path to victory will be to get this fight to the ground and work her submission game, though it's worth noting her Brazilian opponent has never been submitted in her professional career.
Marion Reneau    UFC    Bantamweight
Reneau will now take on Sara McMann at UFC Orlando on Feb. 24, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Reneau was originally scheduled to face Tonya Evinger on Feb. 18, but Evinger was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed injury. Her fight camp won't go to waste, however, as she'll be pinned against an experienced opponent that has faced the best bantamweights the UFC has to offer. Reneau has finished two of her last three opponents, but the 40-year-old seems likely to enter as a betting underdog against McMann.
Chris Weidman    UFC    Middleweight
Weidman (thumb) is hopeful that he will be able to start training in one month's time, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Weidman has been on the mend since defeating Kelvin Gastelum in July, during which he suffered a dislocated left thumb that has caused him to take an extended period of time after undergoing surgery in September. Once he's fully cleared to begin training, there should be a better sense of a timetable for his return to the Octagon.
Ovince Saint Preux    UFC    Light Heavyweight
Saint Preux will now face Ilir Latifi at UFC Orlando on Feb. 24, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

The two were originally scheduled for a Charlotte card on Jan. 27, but Latifi had to withdraw due to injury. It doesn't sound like it was anything too serious, as he'll be ready again to fight less than a month after the originally scheduled date. Saint Preux is riding a three-fight winning streak and likely has title aspirations in the shallow, 205-pound division, so look for him to enter as the betting favorite.
Ilir Latifi    UFC    Light Heavyweight
Latifi's scheduled matchup with Ovince Saint Preux has been moved to the Orlando card on Feb. 24, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

The two were originally scheduled to throw down at UFC Charlotte on Jan. 27, but Latifi was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed injury. He later posted on his Twitter account that he would only need a couple weeks to heal, and that turns out to be the case, as the fight was re-booked for just a month later than the scheduled date. Matchup-wise, Latifi will need to use his biggest strength -- his wrestling -- to keep the fight in close and overcome Saint Preux's size and reach advantages.
Joseph Benavidez    UFC    Flyweight
Benavidez was able to complete his first full wrestling practice since undergoing surgery to repair his torn ACL in May, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Benavidez continues to make the long journey back from a torn ACL and damage to his LCL and meniscus in his knee. After undergoing the procedure, he set a return around the 10-month mark, which would be right around the beginning of April. Although it's tough to gauge his status based on this report, it appears like he should be back to full health by that point in time. Once he's able to ramp up his recovery in the next few weeks, there should be another update on his status and a more concise timetable for his return.
Uriah Hall    UFC    Middleweight
Hall stated that he suffered a slight heart attack and a mini-seizure which caused him to withdraw from his fight against Vitor Belfort last Sunday at UFC Fight Night in St. Louis, Peter Carroll of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Hall was rushed to the hospital after failing to show up for weigh-ins and claimed that he refused to listen to the signs his body was giving him leading up to the bout. As for his cancelled fight against Belfort, Hall said that he would "love to fight him" after he returns to full health. After this scare, it seems likely that Hall will take a little time off from training for the near future, but he should be back in the Octagon in due time. Given the issues he had cutting to 185 pounds, it wouldn't be too surprising to see his camp consider moving up to the light heavyweight division (205 pounds).
Cynthia Calvillo    UFC    strawweight
Calvillo (suspension) faces a potential UFC anti-doping policy violation after failing a USADA drug test for Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

The positive test for marijuana metabolites comes from an in-competition sample taken prior to her Dec. 30 showdown against Carla Esparza at UFC 219, which resulted in Calvillo's first career loss. It's unclear what punishment she will face at this time, if any, but there should be an update regarding her status in the near future. Calvillo is currently serving a 180-day medical suspension stemming from her loss to Esparza.
Khabib Nurmagomedov    UFC    Lightweight
Nurmagomedov will face Tony Ferguson in a lightweight championship fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at UFC 223 on April 7, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

UFC president Dana White mentioned the matchup on the "Toucher and Rich" radio show, but refrained from stating whether this bout will be for the interim lightweight belt, which Ferguson currently owns, or the vacant undisputed championship, which would imply that Conor McGregor will be stripped of his title. Although that will be determined in the near future, for now it appears as though we will finally get a long-anticipated fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov. This marks the fourth time that the two have been in talks to face off, with the most recent iteration coming this past spring, but was cancelled 48 hours beforehand when Nurmagomedov was admitted to the hospital due to weight-cutting complications. Nurmagomedov kept his perfect record intact by taking down Edson Barboza at UFC 219 via unanimous decision in late December, while Ferguson defeated Kevin Lee in October to claim the interim title.
Tony Ferguson    UFC    Lightweight
Ferguson (elbow) will take on Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight championship fight on April 7 at UFC 223 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

At this point, there has been no word as to whether the bout will be for Ferguson's interim lightweight belt, or if Conor McGregor will be stripped of his title, but that is sure to be decided in due time. Ferguson claimed the interim title in October by besting Kevin Lee via submission (triangle choke) at UFC 216 in Las Vegas in early October. "El Cucuy" did undergo elbow surgery in the first week of December, but should be fully healed and operational well before this upcoming fight. Ferguson was expected to take on Nurmagomedov this past spring, but the latter failed to receive proper medical clearance, and the bout fell by the wayside after "The Eagle" wound up being hospitalized due to weight cut issues. There were also two previous occasions when talks regarding these two heated up, but injuries on each side prevented anything from coming to fruition. But now we will finally see them face off in the Octagon, as Nurmagomedov will bring his perfect 25-0 professional record up against Ferguson's 23-3 mark.
Ovince Saint Preux    UFC    Light Heavyweight
Saint Preux will not face off against Ilir Latifi at UFC on FOX 27 on Jan. 27 after Latifi was forced to withdraw with an undisclosed injury, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Currently, Saint Preux is looking for any challenger that will take Latifi's place, even stating that he would potentially go up a weight class in order to keep the bout on the card for Charlotte's fight night. At this time, the UFC has yet to find anyone to face Saint Preux, but hasn't tossed the fight out completely. We should know more in the coming days as to whether Saint Preux will get a chance at a fourth straight victory next weekend.