After the promotion recently struck a deal to start bringing events to the flourishing Middle Eastern combat sports hub of Riyadh, matchups are beginning to be made for UFC Fight Night on March 2, including Mokaev (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) vs. Perez (23-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC).
Two people with knowledge of the booking informed MMA Junkie that agreements are in place for the bout following an initial report from UFC op Eurosport on X. The people requested anonymity because the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
UFC Fight Night on March 2 is expected to take place at Boulevard Hall in Riyadh. Broadcast plans have not been announced.
Mokaev, No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie flyweight rankings, has been on a quest to become the youngest champion in UFC history and break Jon Jones’ longstanding record. The 23-year-old is unlikely to meet the timeline, however, but can take a big step toward solidifying a championship fight against former title contender Perez.
No. 15 Perez, for his part, will attempt to compete for just the second time since he unsuccessfully challenged then-champ Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 255 in November 2020. The 31-year-old has had nine scheduled fights canceled over the past three years, hurting his chances to build any momentum in the weight class.
The latest lineup for UFC Fight Night in Saudi Arabia now includes:
Eryk Anders vs. Jamie Pickett
Muhammad Mokaev vs. Alex Perez