The Ultimate Fighting Championship and its parent organization, Zuffa, released a number of interesting news bits into the mixed martial arts world on Tuesday.
To begin, the UFC announced a matchup that was completely different than what the MMA Zone announced yesterday. Instead of facing Stefan Struve, heavyweight Brendan Schaub will now face off against MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at UFC 128 in New Jersey. Reportedly, contracts have been signed by both fighters to take part in this competition.
Schaub is riding a three fight win streak that includes a victory over one time UFC contender Gabriel Gonzaga. Schaub’s only defeat came at the Ultimate Fighter Season 10 Finale in 2009 when he faced off against Roy Nelson. During Schaub’s eight- fight career, he has only been out of the first round once.
Well known veteran, Filipovic, is looking to get back on the winning track as he was knocked out in the third round of his fight against Frank Mir at UFC 119. Filipovic came under a lot of criticism for his part in what was considered a lack luster main event. The former Pride veteran has not been as successful in the UFC as many expected as he has earned a 3-2 record with the promotion.
Another big matchup has been reported to occur during that same event as two fact paced strikers will go toe to toe. WEC veteran Anthony Njokuani will fight UFC talent Edson Mendes Barboza Jr. This fight was first reported by MMA Junkie and has since been confirmed by other MMA outlets.
Njokuani built a 4-3 record while fighting for World Extreme Cagefighting and is known for his stand up striking. He was last seen competing at WEC 52 when he stopped Edward Faaloloto with an elbow strike during the second round.
Barboza has become known for his vicious stand up striking. In seven professional fights, the 5’11” lightweight competitor has stopped six of his opponents by knockout. None of his performances have gone to the judges’ scorecards. Barboza debuted for the UFC at UFC 123 where he defeated Mike Lullo by TKO.
UFC 128 has not been officially announced by the organization; however it is expected to occur on March 19 in the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
To go along with the announcement of these fights, Zuffa has cut some of the talent that has been brought in through the merger of the WEC.
Former WEC lightweight champion, Jamie Varner, was released from his contract with the organization. In his last four fights, the former champion was 0-3-1, as he fell to Benson Henderson, Shane Roller and Donald Cerrone while earning a draw against Kamal Shalorus.
Lightweight Chris Horodecki was also released by the organization on Tuesday. During his stint with the WEC, Horodecki had a 2-2 record. He lost his debut matchup against Anthony Njokuani before starting a two fight win streak over Daniel Downes and Ed Ratcliff. At WEC 53, Horodecki was stopped by Donald Cerrone to end his run with the organization.
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