For the fourth time, Nikolas Motta has his official UFC debut booked. He’s no doubt hoping this time it sticks.
Motta (12-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been rebooked for a lightweight fight against Jim Miller (33-16 MMA, 22-15 UFC) at the UFC’s Feb. 19 event. A person with knowledge of the booking confirmed the matchup to MMA Junkie following an initial announcement from Motta’s management team at Iridium Sports Agency.
The UFC’s Feb. 19 event takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Broadcast details have yet to be announced, but the card will air and stream on a combination of ESPN and ESPN+.
Motta and Miller were booked to fight this past September, but Miller had to pull out of the fight when he tested positive for COVID-19. Motta picked up a replacement opponent for the card in Cameron VanCamp, but the day before the fight that bout fell apart due to an injury.
Motta was scheduled to make his promotional debut in May 2021 against Damir Hadzovic, but suffered an injury and withdrew from the fight. A former CFFC lightweight champion, Motta signed with the UFC after a dominant decision win on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020.
Miller had back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Vinc Pichel and Joe Solecki when he was booked to fight Motta. After he recovered from COVID-19, he was booked for a fight a month later against Erick Gonzalez, which he won by knockout 14 seconds into the second round. Although he’s just 5-4 his past nine fights, all five wins have been by stoppage. The knockout was his first in more than five years.
With the addition, the UFC’s Feb. 19 lineup now includes:
Kyle Daukaus vs. Julian Marquez
Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Stephanie Egger
Chad Anheliger vs. Jesse Strader
Jim Miller vs. Nikolas Motta
Austin Lingo vs. Jonathan Pearce
Mario Bautista vs. Khalid Taha
Chas Skelly vs. Mark Striegl
Nasrat Haqparast vs. TBA
Ilir Latifi vs. Alexandr Romanov
Diana Belbita vs. Gloria de Paula
Jamahal Hill vs. Johnny Walker