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LI's Ryan LaFlare vs. Court McGee at UFC on Fox 9
Based on Ryan LaFlare's injury history, his fighter nickname may as well be "Pre-Existing Condition."
But the 30-year-old UFC fighter from Lindenhurst entered his fight last Saturday the healthiest he's been in years. He left Brazil victorious and, now, three days later, he has his next fight booked.
In four and a half weeks.
LaFlare (9-0, 2-0 UFC) will fight Season 11 "Ultimate Fighter" winner Court McGee on Dec. 14 at UFC on Fox 9 in Sacramento, Calif., replacing the injured Kelvin Gastelum.
This will be LaFlare's fourth fight in 2013 (third in the UFC) after being out with injuries for more than two years. LaFlare beat Santiago Ponzinibbio by unanimous decision last week and Benny Alloway before that in April.
This will be the third fight at welterweight for McGee (16-3, 5-2), who dropped from middleweight.
LaFlare is already in good conditioning from his last camp, so the abbreviated training calendar for this fight shouldn't be an issue in terms of cutting weight. He has an added advantage, as well -- teammate Costas Philippou.
Philippou won a unanimous decision over McGee in March 2012, so LaFlare can pick his brain. Philippou was with trainers Ray Longo and Matt Serra at the time, though. He has since switched to Bellmore Kickboxing Academy's Keith Trimble, LaFlare's striking coach. The two also work together at Long Island MMA in Farmingdale, which is co-owned by LaFlare.
Long Island-based fighters are 8-2 in the UFC in 2013. LaFlare's teammate Gian Villante is next up this Saturday at UFC 167 against Cody Donovan.
UFC on Fox 9 will be headlined by Demetrious Johnson defending his flyweight title against Joseph Benavidez.