TORONTO — Canadians Tristan (Boondock) Connelly and Yohan (White Lion) Lainesse have been added to an April 30 UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas.
Connelly (14-7-0) will face veteran American featherweight Darren (The Damage) Elkins (26-10-0).
Lainesse, a welterweight from Montreal who has won all eight of his pro fights, will make his UFC debut against American Gabe (Gifted) Green (10-3-0).
The UFC has yet to announce a main event at the UFC Apex production facility.
Connelly, a native of Victoria who now makes his home in the Vancouver area, lost a unanimous decision to American Pat Sabatini last time out in April 2021.
He won his UFC debut in September 2019, moving up in weight on short notice upsetting highly touted Brazilian Michel (Demolidor) Pereira at welterweight.
The 36-year-old Connelly won fight of the night honours, collecting a US$50,000 bonus as well as Pereira's $50,000 share since the Brazilian missed the welterweight non-title weight limit by one pound (at 172 pounds) and wasn't eligible for the reward.
The pandemic and neck surgery delayed his return to action. He was due to face Makwan Amirkhani at UFC 267 on Oct. 30 in Abu Dhabi but had to pull out.
The 37-year-old Ekins is a 12-year veteran of the UFC with a 16-9-0 record in the promotion. He is coming off a December loss to Cub Swanson.
Lainesse earned his UFC contract in November, stopping previously unbeaten English fighter Justin Burlinson in 97 seconds on Dana White's Contender Series.
Green is coming off a win over Philip (The Fresh Prince) Rowe in February at UFC 258 that evened his UFC record at 1-1-0. He has won seven of his last eight bouts.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2022
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press