Maheshate will have the opportunity to extend his seven fight winning streak at UFC Vegas 66. The Chinese lightweight has been matched with Rafe Garcia in what will be the promotion’s final card of the year.

Maheshate (9-1) is coming off a huge win in Singapore. At UFC 275 he knocked Steve Garcia out cold in what was a promotional debut to remember for the 22 year old.

His reward for beating the American is another bout against a Garcia. This one is from Mexico and has three wins from his five UFC fights.

Garcia (14-3) was undefeated when he signed with the UFC. He dropped a decision to Nasrat Haqparast on his debut and four of the Mexican’s five bouts inside the octagon have gone the distance.

Good year

It has been a good year for the growing Chinese contingent on the UFC roster. Weili Zhang made the headlines with two second round stoppage wins, the latest of which saw her crowned as the strawweight champion again.

At UFC 275 she stopped Joanna Jędrzejczyk and at UFC 281 the 33 year old submitted Carla Esparza. But Zhang has not been the only Chinese success story in 2022.

Jingliang Li picked up a $50,000 USD bonus for his stoppage win over Muslim Salikhov earlier this year. Sadong Yong picked up a similar sized cheque after knocking out Marlon Moraes while Maheshate also received a performance bonus after his UFC debut.

Meanwhile Yan Xiaonan secured a much needed majority decision win over Mackenzie Dern. She is one of four Chinese fighters to currently be ranked with Weili Zhang, Sumudaerji and Yadong Song also in the top 15 in their respective weight classes.

Best of the rest

The event will be headlined by a middleweight bout between #3 ranked Jared Cannonier and #7 ranked Sean Strickland. The former is coming off a decision loss to former champion Israel Adesanya in a title fight at UFC 276 while the latter was knocked out by newly crowned champion Alex Pereira the same night.

UFC Vegas 66, Las Vegas, December 17th
Jared Cannonier vs. Sean Strickland (Middleweight)
Alex Caceres vs. Julian Erosa (Featherweight)
Jake Matthews vs. Matthew Semelsberger (Welterweight)
Rafa García vs. Maheshate (Lightweight)
Michael Morales vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov (Welterweight)
Arman Tsarukyan vs. Damir Ismagulov (Lightweight)
Albert Duraev vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk (Middleweight)
Brandon Royval vs. Amir Albazi (Flyweight)
Vitor Petrino vs. Tafon Nchukwi (Light Heavyweight)
Julian Marquez vs. Deron Winn (Middleweight)
Sergey Morozov vs. Journey Newson (Bantamweight)
Cheyanne Vlismas vs. Cory McKenna (Strawweight)
Said Nurmagomedov vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov (Bantamweight)