The first UFC fight card of 2017 has already began shaping up, and the promotion announced three new matchups on Monday to start filling out the card.
A welterweight matchup between Court McGee and Ben Saunders was announced along with two lightweight fights, including Erik Koch vs. Tony Martin and Devin Powell vs. Jordan Rinaldi, for UFC Fight Night 103. The event is scheduled for Jan. 15 and is set to take place in Phoenix, Arizona, at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. \
McGee competed as a middleweight on The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 and ended up winning in the finals. He won his next two bouts, but then dropped two consecutive and decided to drop to the welterweight division.
Since fighting at 170 pounds, McGee has gone 4-2. His welterweight wins include the likes of veteran Josh Neer, fellow Ultimate Fighter winner Rovert Whittaker, and most recently he defeated Dominique Steele at UFC Fight Night 92.
Saunders will be making his return to the Octagon after a brief time away from the promotion. After losing by TKO to Patrick Cote at UFC Fight Night 81, Saunders let his contract with the UFC expire as he dealt with personal issues. He fought one time at a regional event since, defeating ex-UFC fighter Jacob Volkmann in just 17 seconds by submission. He was contacted by the UFC to sign a new contract in the days after the impressive victory.
The event has yet to have its main event announced, but the three new fights join the current lineup consisting of heavyweights Cyril Asker vs. Dmitri Smoliakov and Damian Grabowski vs. Viktor Pesta, as well as light heavyweights Joachim Christensen vs. Bojan Mihajlovic.