UFC Auckland: Kassem books fight with TUF alumni Aldrich

New UFC strawweight signee Nadia Kassem (4-0) has not had to wait long for her first assignment. The Australian Top Team fighter is set to face J.J. Aldrich (4-2) at UFC Fight Night 110 on June 11.

Officials announced the booking via the Daily Telegraph on Friday. The event takes place at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand and is headlined by a clash of hard-hitting heavyweights Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis.

Kassem is the newest addition to an exciting UFC strawweight roster, joining fellow Australians Bec Rawlings and Alex Chambers in a growing talent pool.

The 21-year-old made her professional debut in 2015, defeating Jiang Zhu in only 26 seconds. Kassem’s subsequent performances have been every bit as spectacular. Belinda Sedgwick, Leigha Aurisch and Jasita Yotawan have all failed to make it out of the first round against the fast-developing prospect.

Now the fighter known affectionately as “187” —  the police code for murder — takes the next step in her career evolution against The Ultimate Fighter 23 alumni J.J. Aldrich.

Aldrich, a Colorado native, came up short in her official UFC debut, losing by decision to Juliana Lima in December 2016. That defeat put an end to the Invicta FC veteran’s three-fight winning streak.

Sandwiched in the middle of that run was an appearance on The Ultimate Fighter 23. After defeating Kristi Lopez to earn her spot in the house, Aldrich was submitted by eventual winner Tatiana Suarez.

The bout order for UFC Fight Night 110 has yet to be finalised, but the list of announced fights can be seen in full below:-

  • Mark Hunt v Derrick Lewis — heavyweight bout 
  • Dan Kelley v Derek Brunson — middleweight bout
  • Ben Nguyen v Tim Elliott— flyweight bout 
  • Ashkan Mokhtarian v John Moraga — flyweight bout
  • Dan Hooker v Ross Pearson — lightweight bout
  • Damien Brown v Vinc Pichel — lightweight bout
  • Alex Volkanovski v Mizuto Hirota — featherweight bout
  • Warlley Alves v Kiichi Kunimoto – welterweight bout
  • Luke Jumeau v Dominique Steele – welterweight bout
  • Nadia Kassem v J.J Aldrich – strawweight bout 
Stephen Rivers is a Wales based contributor for Fight News Australia.