A thrilling match-up has recently been announced in the world of mixed martial arts. The first Ultimate Fighting Championship card of 2024 will include a flyweight duel between Brazil’s own Felipe Bunes and his competitor, Denys Bondar. The highly-anticipated match-up, which will mark Bunes’ UFC debut, was initially reported by Eurosport.NL. In addition to confirming the announcement on Twitter, Bunes shared his excitement with a post stating “Let’s go!🇧🇷”. The fight will be part of an event that also features a match between former heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski, and Waldon Cortes-Acosta, set to take place in the UFC Apex on January 13th.
Bunes, with a record of 13 wins and 6 losses, was initially expected to make his organizational debut in June at UFC on ESPN 47 against Zhalgas Zhumagulov. However, after testing positive for the metabolic modulator GW1516, Bunes was unable to compete and subsequently suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. With the fight against Bondar, Bunes will be stepping back into the ring after a year of inactivity. The last time “Felipinho” competed, he secured a first-round knockout win against Yuma Horiuchi at LFA 149, capturing the vacant flyweight strap in the process.
On the other hand, Ukraine’s Bondar is coming into the match off two consecutive losses inside the Octagon, having debuted with the company in 2022. Known as “Psycho”, Bondar suffered a technical decision loss against Carlos Hernandez back in June due to a controversial situation initially ruled a knockout but later overturned due to an illegal clash of heads during a slam. This defeat followed an injury stoppage loss against Malcolm Gordon in February 2022, where Bondar injured his arm trying to avoid a takedown. Prior to these setbacks, the 31-year-old had enjoyed eight consecutive victories on the regional scene, although there is currently some dispute over his professional record.