For the first time in more than seven years, Marcin Held will get to fight in front of his home Polish fans.
Held (22-7 MMA, 0-3 UFC) will take on Teemu Packalen (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in a lightweight fight at UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland. The bout, not yet made official by the UFC, first was reported by MMADNA.com.
UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The event will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.
After fighting his first 11 pro bouts in his home country, Held hasn’t fought there since October 2010. After that, he signed with Bellator, where he became one of the promotion’s most feared submission artists. He won 11 of his first 13 fights for the promotion, but then dropped a lightweight title fight to then-champ Will Brooks in November 2015.
Held is badly in need of a win. He beat Dave Jansen at Bellator 155 in May 2016 to avenge one of his Bellator losses, then signed with the UFC. But since coming over less than a year ago, he has decision losses to Diego Sanchez and Joe Lauzon – a fight even Lauzon said Held was robbed in by the judges. And in May, he was knocked out seven seconds into the third round by a Damir Hadzovic knee in Sweden, giving him three straight setbacks.
Finland’s Packalen has alternated wins and losses since coming to the UFC a little more than two years ago. He started his career 7-0 with seven stoppages. But in his promotional debut, he dropped a decision to Mickael Lebout in Scotland. He bounced back with a bonus-winning submission of Thibault Gouti in February 2016 in just 24 seconds in London. But in March, after 13 months on the sideline, he was knocked out in 30 seconds by Marc Diakiese.
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