Potential light heavyweight contender Misha Cirkunov agrees to new UFC deal

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Misha Cirkunov of Latvia celebrates his victory over Nikita Krylov of Ukraine in their Light Heavyweight bout during the UFC 206 event at Air Canada Centre on December 10, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Misha Cirkunov of Latvia celebrates his victory over Nikita Krylov of Ukraine in their Light Heavyweight bout during the UFC 206 event at Air Canada Centre on December 10, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

The fastest-rising star at 205 pounds isn’t leaving the UFC after all.

During an interview on Wednesday on Canada’s TSN, UFC president Dana White stated that the company and surging light heavyweight Misha Cirkunov have agreed on a new contract.

“We had come to terms on a deal, I had thought, and he sort of went MIA on me,” White said on the network. “I honestly don’t know what happened. He came back around, we got the deal done and I’m happy about it.”

Last month, White said Cirkunov had “flaked out” on a contract that was offered by the UFC. White went on to say he was “done” with Cirkunov and he would no longer fight in the company.

Everything changed when the Canadian and his wife flew to Las Vegas to meet with White and they agreed to a new deal. It is unknown as to when Cirkunov will next compete inside the Octagon.

Cirkunov (13-2) has won eight consecutive fights, including his first four fights in the UFC, all by stoppage. With another two or three wins and in a division needing a new contender, the 29-year-old could be fighting for the light heavyweight title in the next year or so.

You have a rematch between light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson coming up at UFC 210 on April 8. The winner would likely fight Jon Jones when he’s eligible to come off his one-year suspension in July.

But then what’s next after that? Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira are fighting in May, but with all due respect to both men, they have had their opportunities and the UFC shouldn’t keep cycling through the same five fighters and expect fans to continue to watch.

Cirkunov has gained a lot of steam after he blew through former ranked UFC fighter Nikita Krylov by first-round submission at UFC 206 back in December.

It appears to be time for new blood in the division that used to be the UFC’s glamour weight class. Another a win or two and Cirkunov might be the guy to shake things up.

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