December 18th UFC Card Gains Stephen Thompson vs. Belal Muhammad, Loses Bantamweight Bout

Big changes have come to UFC’s final event of the year. The promotion’s December 18th “Fight Night” card has lost a bantamweight fight, but also recently gained a matchup between two ranked welterweights.

The changes come to a card that is set to take place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Thompson and Muhammad To Meet In Welterweight Bout

Stephen Thompson is reportedly set to face Belal Muhammad at the promotion’s mid-December event. News of the matchup being targeted was first reported by Nolan King, Mike Bohn and John Morgan of MMA Junkie. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto later confirmed that the bout was made official by the promotion.

Muhammad is currently on a strong run up the welterweight division. He has gone undefeated in his past six appearances, having maintained a consistent streak since 2019.

His last victory was in June, where he defeated veteran Demian Maia via unanimous decision.

Thompson, a former title challenger, will be aiming to bounce back from a decision loss he took against Gilbert Burns in June. Before then, Thompson had won two consecutive bouts.

Jones Out of Bantamweight Pairing Against Barcelos

Another fight also departed the card recently, Trevin Jones is out of his bantamweight booking against Raoni Barcelos.

An injury took Jones off the card, per a report from MMA Island.

It is not known at the moment whether Barcelos will get a new opponent for the date.

Both fighters were attempting to bounce back from their first UFC loss. In Barcelos’ case, he had a five-fight UFC winning streak broken in June with a majority decision outcome against Timur Valiev.

Updated Lineup

Heavyweight talent Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus are currently scheduled to headline UFC’s December 18th event. Here is how the card looks currently:

Bout 10: Derrick Lewis (25-8) vs. Chris Daukaus (12-3) (Heavyweight)

Bout 9: Anthony Hernandez (8-2) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (13-3) (Middleweight)

Bout 8: Don’Tale Mayes (8-4) vs. Josh Parisian (14-4) (Heavyweight)

Bout 7: Raphael Assuncao (27-8) vs. Ricky Simon (18-3) (Bantamweight)

Bout 6: Gerald Meerschaert (33-14) vs. Abusupiyan Magomedov (24-4-1) (Middleweight)

Bout 5: Raquel Pennington (12-8) vs. Julia Avila (9-2) (Bantamweight)

Bout 4: Darren Elkins (26-9) vs. Cub Swanson (27-12) (Featherweight)

Bout 3: Angela Hill (13-10) vs. Amanda Lemos (10-1-1) (Strawweight)

Bout 2: Diego Ferreira (17-4) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (19-1) (Lightweight)

Bout 1: Stephen Thompson (16-5-1) vs. Belal Muhammad (19-3) (Welterweight)

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