Almost exactly one year on the dot from the time he was shoved by Jeremy Stephens at a March 2021 faceoff, Drakkar Klose will step back into the UFC cage.
Klose (11-2-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and promotional newcomer Nikolas Motta have agreed to fight April 16 at a yet-to-be-announced UFC event. The bout will be three rounds and take place at lightweight. Contracts have not yet been signed but verbal agreements are in place.
Two people with knowledge of the matchup confirmed the targeted booking Wednesday to MMA Junkie but asked to remain anonymous since the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. MMA Fighting first reported the matchup.
Klose has not competed since a powerful shove from Stephens ahead of their scheduled UFC on ESPN 22 bout. The fight was canceled as a result, and Klose pointed to concussion and neck issues that lingered for months afterward. Stephens was not apologetic for the push and told MMA Junkie this past June he considered the shove a victory.
Motta will make his long-awaited promotional debut after a 2020 contract-earning win on Dana White’s Contender Series. He was booked for a UFC Fight Night 192 bout against Jim Miller, but Miller pulled out due to COVID-19 and was replaced by newcomer Cameron VanCamp. Days before the fight, VanCamp withdrew. A replacement opponent was not found, so Motta was pulled from the card.
No other fights have been announced yet for the April 16 UFC event.