The UFC roster is bigger than ever – and it continues to expand.
Fresh faces appear on nearly every card, whether onboarded as short-notice opening fillers, “Dana White’s Contender Series” signees, or rare straight-up additions. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of the hustle and bustle of the mixed martial arts news beat, but here at MMA Junkie, we’ve got you covered.
“Fresh Ink” is your list of fighters added to the UFC roster the previous month and provides background on who they are and where they came from.
Check out the November 2023 list below.
Record when signed: 4-0-1
Signing type: Straight up
Weight class: Strawweight
Debut: Dec. 9 vs. Rayanne Dos Santos (14-6) at UFC Fight Night 233 in Las Vegas
A multitime IBJJF champ, Talita Alencar was part of a rare one-contract-earning draw on Dana White’s Contender Series in September. Although her opponent Stephanie Luciano was awarded a contract, Alencar was passed over. It didn’t take the UFC to circle back to the submission specialist, however, as she’ll make her promotional debut on a few weeks’ notice against a fellow debutant.
Record when signed: 26-7
Signing type: Road to UFC
Weight class: Bantamweight
Debut: TBA – Road to UFC final vs. Chang Ho Lee (9-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Xiao Long looks to make good on his second chance at a long-term UFC contract. Following a failed bid vs. Cristian Quinonez on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021, Long has won four straight fights including two-straight in Road to UFC.
Record when signed: 12-1-1
Signing type: Short notice
Weight class: Welterweight/lightweight
Debut: UFC Fight Night 232 win Nov. 18 vs. Uros Medic (9-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) via submission (rear-naked choke)
Myktybek Orolbai received his first UFC call on less than one week’s notice and absolutely seized the moment. In one of the more buzz-causing promotional debuts of 2023, Orolbai became the first male fighter from Kyrgyzstan to compete in the UFC. He survived an early onslaught from Uros Medic to rally and get a smothering submission victory. He will drop to lightweight for his next bout.
Record when signed: 24-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC
Signing type: Road to UFC
Weight class: Lightweight
Return: TBA – Road to UFC final vs. Shin Haraguchi (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Unlike his other Road to UFC counterparts, Zhu Rong has UFC experience. When he signed with the promotion in 2021 at age 21, Rong was the youngest fighter on the roster. He went 1-2 for the promotion but missed weight twice and was released. Since then, Rong has sought another UFC opportunity. He’s won three fights in a row including two in Road to UFC: a first-round TKO vs. Sung Chan Hong and a unanimous decision vs. Sang Uk Kim.