Niko Price returns after 14-month layoff, faces Phil Rowe at UFC Orlando

Fan-favorite Niko Price is finally back and ready to go after a lengthy, injury-induced hiatus.

Price (15-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is set to compete in front of a home-state crowd when he takes on Phil Rowe at the UFC Fight Night event scheduled for Dec. 3. The event takes place at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.

A person with knowledge of the matchup recently confirmed the booking Tuesday to MMA Junkie but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. News of the fight was first reported by UFE Media.

Price, 33, returns for the first time since knee surgery to repair injured ACL, MCL, and LCL ligaments. While the surgery occurred following his October 2021 loss, Price told MMA Junkie in July he battled the injuries dating back to 2018. Even still, Price won his most recent bout, however, with a unanimous decision over Alex Oliveira.

“I’ve been knocking people out and everything with half power,” Price said. “Now, I have full power, I have full everything. I’m excited to see what I can do. The power on the side that was hurt is so much more.”

Meanwhile, Rowe, 32, enters off back-to-back victories by TKO. Following a defeat in his UFC debut, Rowe finished Orion Cosce and Jason Witt, both in Round 2.

With the addition, the UFC Orlando lineup includes:

  • Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland
  • Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergei Pavlovich
  • Derek Brunson vs. Jack Hermansson
  • Tracy Cortez vs. Amanda Ribas
  • Darren Elkins vs. Jonathan Pearce
  • Matheus Nicolau vs. Matt Schnell
  • Eryk Anders vs. Kyle Daukaus
  • Marc Diakiese vs. Michael Johnson
  • Clay Guida vs. Scott Holtzman
  • Emily Ducote vs. Angela Hill
  • Bryan Barberena vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Yazmin Jauregui vs. Istela Nunes
  • Niko Price vs. Phil Rowe

report by Nolan King