Julio Arce is dropping back down to bantamweight in his return.

Arce (16-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) faces Timur Valiev (16-2-1 MMA, 0-0-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night on Feb. 6. A location and venue have not been announced, but the card is likely to stream on ESPN+.

Two people with knowledge of the booking informed MMA Junkie of the matchup Monday, but asked to remain anonymous since the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.

Arce, who hasn’t competed in a year, is coming off a split decision loss to Hakeem Dawodu at UFC 244. Prior to that, he scored a head-kick knockout of Julian Erosa in May 2019. Following his loss to Dawodu, Arce underwent elbow surgery and is set to return to his original weight class after a yearlong layoff.

Valiev, a WSOF and PFL veteran, was upset by Trevin Jones in his promotional debut at UFC on ESPN 15 in August. His stoppage loss to Jones was overturned to a no contest after Jones tested positive for marijuana. The highly touted prospect holds wins over Chris Gutierrez, Bekbulat Magomedov, and Josenaldo Silva.

With the addition, the Feb. 6 lineup includes:

  • Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov
  • Nicco Montano vs. Karol Rosa
  • Molly McCann vs. Lara Procopio
  • Macy Chiasson vs. Marion Reneau
  • Aliaskhab Khizriev vs. Wellington Turman
  • Julio Arce vs. Timur Valiev