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Heavyweights Collide: Justin Tafa vs Jared Vanderaa Added To May 22 UFC Card

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Justin Tafa vs Jared Vanderaa has been signed and scheduled for the UFC’s May 22 card, which currently has no official venue or location announced. Featuring two heavyweight titans coming off of a loss, both men will be looking to get back into the win column on the 22nd of May.

The Justin Tafa vs Jared Vanderaa fight was first reported by MMA Fighting and is slated to take place on the same card as the very exciting strawweight fight between Yan Xiaonan and Carla Esparza. A bout that could be pivotal in the strawweight divisions’ title picture.

The Road To Justin Tafa vs Jared Vanderaa

Justin Tafa (4-2, 1-2 UFC) is a 27-year-old heavyweight prospect who only began MMA training at 23 years of age. Young into his career, and life in general, he’s already made the plunge into the world’s premier fight league that is the UFC.

Tafa started off his professional career by rattling off a 3-0 run all via KO/TKO inside the promotion of Australian Xtreme FC. Making his UFC debut against Yorgan De Castro at UFC 243 back in October of 2019, De Castro would land a monster right hand that froze Tafa and sent him crashing to the canvas. Resulting in a clean walk-off knockout and Tafa’s first professional MMA loss.

https://twitter.com/blue_fighting/status/1329107166440148994?s=21

Next for Tafa would be a bout against Juan Adams at UFC 247. Making his UFC record 1-1, Tafa finished Adams via TKO in round one. Then, it was UFC on ABC 1 where we would see Tafa fight next. Taking on Carlos Felipe in what was a three-round war. However, he came up short in the judges’ eyes, losing a close split decision to bring us full circle on our road to Justin Tafa vs Jared Vanderaa.

Jared Vanderaa (11-5, 0-1 UFC) is a prospect who has spent some time under a lot of different promotional banners. Finding the most success inside SMASH Global and EFC Worldwide, Vanderaa has also fought under promotions like the LFA, where he headlined against Renan Ferreira and lost via a second-round triangle choke submission. Getting his shot at the UFC from Dana White’s Contender Series, Vanderaa won his contract on week eight of the 2020 season against Harry Hunsucker via a first-round ground and pound TKO!

Making his UFC debut at UFC Vegas 19 against Sergey Spivak, Vanderaa would ironically be on the wrong side of a ground and pound TKO this time and lose his first UFC fight in the second round. This brings us full circle on our road to the Justin Tafa vs Jared Vanderaa fight once again!

The May 22nd UFC Card Preview

While it is not officially announced where the Justin Tafa vs Jared Vanderaa fight will land on the card, it is sure to be an exciting matchup that could end in an instant! The order of bouts on the May 22nd UFC card may get shuffled as fights fall off or get added to the card, so keep that in mind while viewing the current lineup here:

  • Women’s Featherweight: Felicia Spencer vs Danyelle Wolf
  • Women’s Strawweight: Xiaonan Yan vs Carla Esparza
  • Flyweight: David Dvorak vs Raulian Paiva
  • Bantamweight: Denys Bondar vs Victor Rodriguez
  • Heavyweight: Rodrigo Nascimento vs Alan Baudot
  • Heavyweight: Justin Tafa vs Jared Vanderaa

The May 22nd card could also potentially feature the last ever women’s featherweight fight in the UFC, according to Megan Anderson. Drop your predictions for the May 22nd card and the Justin Tafa vs Jared Vanderaa fight below in the comments!


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Combat Sports and Motorsports Editor. Staff Writer for Overtime Heroics MMA. Named first ever ‘Writer of the Month’ in January 2021 for OTH MMA.