Albuquerque MMA heavyweight Cody East has signed with the UFC and will make his debut with that organization April 23 in Las Vegas, Nev., on the Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier undercard, according to multiple online sources.
UFC spokesman Chris Costello confirmed East’s signing Saturday morning. The UFC has not yet announced the East-Harris fight on UFC 197, but East all but confirmed the online reports on his Facebook page.
“My hard work is about to pay off been waiting for this let’s Go!!!!!!!!” East posted above what appears to be a promotional photo of himself and Harris.
On Friday, the MMA website bloodyelbow.com published a story noting East’s past brushes with the law. The former Los Lunas High School state wrestling champion pleaded guilty/no contest to charges of battery and child abuse/abandonment in 2007. He was sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by five years of probation.
East’s manager, Jason House, told bloodyelbow.com that the UFC had conducted a thorough background check before signing East.
“We submitted every document and statement regarding (East’s) legal past to (the UFC’s) attorney for review,” House said in a statement.
According to court records, East completed his probation in March 2015.
East has a 12-1 professional record and has held the King of the Cage and Legacy Fighting Championships heavyweight titles. He’s riding a nine-fight win streak.
Harris, is 7-4.
TEAMMATES TO FIGHT: The UFC has confiirmed that heavyweights Andrew Arlovski and Alistair Overeem, teammates at Jackson-Wink, will face each other in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on May 8.
Overeem (40-14) was born in London but is of Dutch heritage and calls Amsterdam home.
A fight between Jackson-Wink teammates is a rare occurrence.
When Albuquerque’s Carlos Condit fought Georges St-Pierre in 2012 — St-Pierre was not a full-time Jackson-Wink fighter but had a close working relationship with J-W coach and founder Greg Jackson — neither fighter was trained or cornered by Jackson, who chose to opt out.
This time, however, Jackson has said he will train Arlovski for the fight and work his corner in Rotterdam because of his close relationship with the Belarus native.
Overeem, interviewed Friday in London, the site of a UFC Fight Night card today, said he had no problem fighting Arlovski (25-11). The two are not personal friends and have rarely worked together in the gym, he said, though there’s mutual respect.
Both fighters will train at Jackson-Wink, Overeem said, but at different times during the day.