Perth heavyweight Soa Palelei has received his next assignment in the UFC – a high-risk, low-reward clash with South African newcomer Ruan Potts in May.
“The Hulk” is coming off an emphatic first-round knockout victory over Pat Barry at UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane in December.
Fan favourite Barry retired from MMA and returned to professional kickboxing after the loss.
It was Palelei’s (20-3) second consecutive win since his return to the UFC and his 10th consecutive win overall.
At UFC Fight Night 40 in Cincinnati, the 36-year-old will face Extreme Fighting Championship Africa's two-time heavyweight champion, Potts (8-1).
Potts was one of many exciting prospects making waves in South Africa's thriving MMA scene when he was signed by the UFC earlier this month.
The 33-year-old former South African judo champion has competition experience in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing to complement his judo black belt.
His nickname “Fangzz” was derived from his somewhat ironic former day job as a dental technician.
Palelei, who usually weighs in at least 10kg heavier than Potts, uses his sheer strength and grappling skills to get on top of his opponents and rain down punches.
Neither man has won a fight by decision so fans can expect an action-packed bout.
The UFC is yet to announce a main event for the Cincinatti card, which is scheduled for May 10 at the US Bank Arena.