The supporting fights for what likely will be two title fights atop the UFC’s return to Australia for UFC 251 are starting to trickle out.
Australia’s own Tai Tuivasa (9-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has found his way to UFC 251 in a heavyweight bout against Syria-born and Germany-based Jarjis Dando (5-1-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC). UFC officials announced the booking on Instagram.
UFC 251 takes place June 6 (June 7 locally) at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+. Women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko is booked for a title defense against Joanne Calderwood on the card. And Australian featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski is likely to top the bill with a title defense rematch against Max Holloway.
After starting his pro MMA career a perfect 9-0, including three straight wins to open his UFC tenure, Tuivasa is mired in a three-fight skid. After knockouts of Rashad Coulter and Cyril Asker, the latter of which came in Perth at UFC 221, he took a decision from former heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski at UFC 225 in June 2018.
But since then, it’s been tough sledding for the 26-year-old. In his first main event for the promotion at UFC Fight Night 142 in Adelaide, Australia, he was knocked out in the second round by former champ Junior Dos Santos. And 2019 featured a pair of losses to Blagoy Ivanov and Serghei Spivac to give him three straight setbacks.
Danho returns to the UFC after a lengthy layoff. He debuted with the promotion at UFC Fight Night 84 a little more than four years ago and lost a decision to Daniel Omielanczuk. In his follow-up fight, he settled for a majority draw with Christian Colombo at UFC Fight Night 93.
He was set for a third try at a win with the promotion at UFC 211 in May 2017, but had to pull out with an injury. Then, after nearly two and a half years on the sidelines, he was booked for a fight this past October against Greg Hardy at UFC on ESPN+ 20 in Singapore, but pulled out of that fight.