Raulian Paiva vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov booked for UFC 251 

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports & Fight Nights Global

A flyweight pairing between division prospect, Raulian Paiva, and former Fight Nights Global flyweight titleholder, Zhalgas ‘Zhako’ Zhumagulov is set for UFC 251 on July 11th. – from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Recently returning to the win-column, Amapá native, Paiva took a second-round knockout over Mark De La Rosa at UFC Fight Night Rio Rancho in February. Kazakhstan native, Zhumagulov, on the other hand, will make his first Octagon appearance, having last competed under the Fight Nights Global banner – taking a split decision over UFC alumnus, Ali Bagautinov. News of the pairing was initially reported by MMA Junkie reporter, Farah Hannoun.

Paiva, 24, debuted in the promotion at UFC 234, in February of last year, and is so far 1-2 in the promotion. Following a bow defeat to Kai Kara-France, Paiva dropped a doctor’s stoppage to compatriot, Rogério Bontorin at UFC Fight Night Montevideo in August. Prior to his signing with the promotion, the Team Alpha MMA trainee managed a split-decision triumph over Allan Nascimento on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders Series in August 2018.

Riding a four-fight winning run, Zhumagulov will finally get his chance to make his Octagon bow, after a pairing with Jordan Espinosa was shelved from this weekend’s UFC Fight Night Vegas event. Prior to his win over Bagautinov, the striker took wins over Tagir Ulanbekov, fellow flyweight, Tyson Nam, and Shajidul Haque.


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