After a break of almost one and a half years, Jessin Ayari from Nuremberg returns to the Octagon. At the first UFC Fight Night in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, on the night of October 28, he will meet a Brit for the third time in a row in a lightweight competition. On his debut in the new weight class, Ayari faces the experienced Stevie “Braveheart” Ray.
Ayari made his UFC Hamburg debut in September 2016 with a points win over England’s Jim Wallhead. In May 2017 he lost to Englishman Darren Till, who will fight for the world championship title at UFC 228 in September, at UFC Stockholm on points.
The 26-year-old German changes from welterweight to lightweight for the duel with Ray. Some fighters hire their own nutritionist for such a project, while others use DNA tests for home use to determine how their bodies lose weight most effectively. Ayari, on the other hand, was measured in the new Performance Institute of the UFC – the experts recommended a change to lightweight based on his test values and he received a tailor-made training and nutrition plan.
On his debut Ayari faces a highly motivated opponent, as Ray has lost twice in a row – against Paul Felder and Kajan Johnson. The 28-year-old Scot may be struggling to stay in the UFC, but with victories over veterans Joe Lauzon and Ross Pearson he has shown that he is a dangerous lightweight.