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UFC keeps an eye on Bernardo Sopai as 22-year-old Allstars prospect looks to defend FCR title



Bernardo Sopai Fight Club Rush FCR MMA
Photo by Stefan Romare / Patrik Persson

One of the hottest European Bantamweight prospects, Bernardo Sopai, has caught the UFC’s attention.

That’s according to his manager Majdi Shammas, who says the 22-year-old standout is on the verge of a big signing.

Sopai, the newly-crowned 135 pound champion in Swedish MMA promotion Fight Club Rush, currently has a professional record of 9-2. Now, it looks like “The Lion King” is getting ready to defend the strap in an upcoming title fight that could possibly lead to bigger opportunities, should he come out victorious.

“Bernardo Sopai, he’s going to defend his belt. I don’t know how Zlatko (Ostrogonac, CEO of FCR, editor’s note) feels about us breaking news,” Shammas says with a smile while speaking exclusively to, before proceeding to break the news anyway. “He’s fighting a tough guy with exactly the same record. He’s gonna defend the belt, so that’s a very good fight.

“Bernardo is also on the verge of signing with a big league,” Shammas adds. “The UFC knows about him as well.”

Bernardo Sopai reportedly facing Elnur Veliev at FCR 15

Fight Club Rush is scheduled to return to Stockholm on February 25 with FCR 15, taking place at the Quality Hotel Friends in the Swedish capital. The promotion has not yet announced any matchups ahead of the UFC Fight Pass-broadcasted event. However, Bernardo Sopai is reportedly slated to fight on that card.

According to, Sopai is rumoured to defend his belt against Ukranian challenger Elnur Veliev, who has a 9-2-1 pro record. Veliev is coming off a submission loss to reigning Oktagon MMA champion Jonas Mågård, but won his previous two bouts against Khvicha Koridze and Hyram Rodriguez via decision.

As for Sopai, the Allstars Training Center prospect scored a huge head kick knockout to win the vacant FCR title in his most recent bout against Karlen Minasian. Before that, he lost a razor-thin split decision to Francesco Nuzzi in the Brave CF cage. Sopai has won three of his last four fights and is currently ranked at No. 3 in the Official Swedish MMA Rankings.


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Stay tuned right here on for more news about FCR 15 and Bernardo Sopai’s upcoming title fight.

Check out the full interview with Majdi Shammas in the video above!

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