A welterweight meeting of talented strikers, Elizeu Zaleski ‘Capoeira’ dos Santos, and Muslim ‘King of Kung Fu’ Salikhov is scheduled for UFC 251 from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE – on July 11th.
Paraná native, dos Santos recently returned to the winner’s enclosure at UFC Fight Night Brasília, taking a unanimous decision win over former dominant M-1 Global welterweight best, Alexey Kunchenko. Makhachkala born striker, Salikhov extended his winning streak to three at UFC Fight Night Kallang in October, via a unanimous judging opposite division prospect, Laureano Staropoli. News of the matchup was initially reported by Combate reporter, Marcelo Barone.
dos Santos, 33, had established an eye-catching seven-fight undefeated run, prior to his late third-round knockout loss to Li Jingliang at UFC Fight Night Shenzhen last August. The impressive 170-pound run included victories over Curtis Millender, Sean Strickland, Max Griffin, former Bellator welterweight champion, Lyman Good, and Omari Akhmedov. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt entered the UFC back in 2015, following a Jungle Fight welterweight crown defence, opposite Eduardo Ramon.
Decorated kickboxer, Salikhov has impressed early in his Octagon stint, similar to opponent dos Santos. Despite a debut defeat to Alex ‘The Dominican Nightmare’ Garcia at UFC Fight Night Shanghai back in November of 2017 – Salikhov has scored knockouts of Ricky Rainey, and Nordine Taleb since. The 36-year-old holds a 16-2 professional record, and debuted in the UFC, following a highlight-reel stoppage of promotion alumnus, Melvin Guillard under the Kunlun Fight MMA banner back in June of 2017.
Salikhov was scheduled to meet with Niko Price at an event in April – until the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, forced the entire card to be shelved. Between both dos Santos, and Salikhov – the two share an incredible twenty-six career knockouts.