Canadian welterweight Mike (Proper) Malott will make his UFC debut at UFC 273 on April 9 in Jacksonville, Fla.
The 30-year-old from Burlington, Ont., earned his UFC contract after a 39-second submission win in early October on Dana White's Contender Series. Malott stopped Israel's Shimon (Assassin) Smotritsky via guillotine choke for the second-fastest submission in the show's six-season history.
Malott will face New Jersey's Mickey Gall at UFC 273. The main event pits featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski of Australia against the Korean Zombie, whose real name is Chan Sung Jung.
The card at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena will also feature Canadian featherweight Gavin (Guv'nor) Tucker against Pat Sabatini.
Malott (7-1-1) has had to go beyond the first round just once — in a 2015 draw with France's Ousmane Thomas Diagne in Bellator action.
Gall (7-4-0) is coming off a December decision loss to Alex (The Great White) Morono. He won his first three fights in the promotion, including a submission victory over highly touted Sage Northcutt, but has gone 3-4-0 since.
The Contender Series, held at the UFC's Apex production facility, offers fighters a chance to impress the UFC president _ and possibly earn a UFC deal.
Malott trains and serves as a coach with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif. His younger brother, Jeff, is in the Winnipeg Jets organization, currently playing for the AHL's Manitoba Moose.
Tucker (13-2-0) and Sabatini were slated to meet on a Nov. 6 Fight Night card but Tucker had to withdraw. Sabatini instead fought Tucker Lutz, extending his win streak to five with a unanimous decision.
Sabatini (16-3-0) is 3-0-0 in the UFC, with a victory over Canadian Tristan (Boondock) Connelly in his UFC debut.
A native of Ship Cove. N.L., who fights out of Halifax, Tucker has won four of his six UFC bouts.
But he was knocked out in 22 seconds by Dan (50K) Ige last time out in March 2021. It was the sixth-fastest KO in UFC featherweight history.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2022
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press