UFC Bantamweight Raoni Barcelos has been on hold for weeks, preparing for an unknown opponent on February 27th, after a positive COVID-19 test came back for his original opponent Raphael Assuncao. Barcelos’ opponent now has a face. Marcelo Rojo.
The Argentinian sensation, Rojo was revealed to be making his UFC debut at a catchweight of 140lbs, per Entre Rounds. This short-notice fight will feature only less than a week of preparation for the Combate Americas star.
Rojo hasn’t fought since September 2019. He is currently oming off a one-punch KO win over Victor Madrigal in his last outing in less than a minute. “Pitbull” has a 88% finish rate in his fights, only letting one of his wins go to a decision.
The high-octane finisher went viral in 2018, when he flattened Fabian Galvan with a punch for a 1st round KO. He would later be caught on camera with a wild celebration, running around like a T-Rex.
On the other end of the Octagon is Raoni Barcelos. Barcelos is 5-0 in the UFC, streaking with wins over the likes of Khalid Taha, Said Nurmagomedov and Chris Guiterrez. He has been preparing to fight on February 27th since late December when his initial bout with top-ranked Assuncao was announced.
With Assuncao out, the hunt for a new challenger began. It would take the UFC about 18 days to contract the Central American talent to fight the Brazilian in his debut.
Having the advantage of being in training camp for 2 months, Barcelos will look to extend his to a perfect 6-0 inside the octagon and 9-0 in his last 9.