UFC cards in April and May are near completion as six fights have been finalized over the last few days.
UFC on FOX 11
Santiago Ponzinibbio won’t compete against Jordan Mein on April 19 in Orlando, Fla. due to an undisclosed injury he suffered. Mein’s opponent will now be UFC newcomer Hernani Perpetuo.
Not only is Perpetuo (17-3) making his Octagon debut, he is competing outside of Brazil for the first time in his career. Perpetuo carries a nine-fight winning streak that dates back to 2010 while he was with Shooto Brasil. The MMA veteran has world-class training as he works with Jose Aldo and Renan Barao.
Mein (27-9) is coming off a year-long layoff caused by a Matt Brown knee to the face last April that fractured his nasal and orbital bone and snapped a three-fight winning streak. The former Strikeforce welterweight defeated Dan Miller at UFC 158 via TKO in his only other fight with the promotion.
A second injury is hampering the UFC on FOX 11 card as Sean Soriano is out of a match with Estevan Payan. Soriano is replaced by American Top Team member Mike Brown.
Payan (14-5) is coming off back-to-back losses to Robbie Peralta and Jeremy Stephens, respectively. The Arizona native hadn’t lost since 2009 before losing to Stephens at UFC 160, and two victories in that time came with the now defunct Strikeforce.
Following a two-fight winning streak, Brown (26-9) lost to Steven Siler via KO at UFC Fight Night 26. The former WEC featherweight champion has a 2-3 record with the UFC after a successful stint with WEC, notably defeating Urijah Faber twice.
The UFC’s annual Memorial Day event announced a couple of fights leading up the Chris Weidman-Lyoto Machida title bout.
Bantamweights T.J. Dillashaw and Takeya Mizugaki face off in a battle of top ten fighters. Dillashaw (9-2) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Mike Easton last January that got him back on the winning track after losing to Raphael Assuncao. The former The Ultimate Fighter cast member has said that his goal is to earn a title shot before year’s end.
Mizugaki (19-7-2) is the No. 7 ranked bantamweight in the world and has shown as much in his last four UFC fights. After splitting his first four decision with the promotion, Mizugaki has won the last four fights, notably beating Nam Phan and Bryan Caraway.
The Ultimate Fighter 15 runner-up Al Iaquinta takes on Mitch Clarke in a fight destined for the event’s preliminary card.
Iaquinta (8-2-1) lost in the show’s finale to Michael Chiesa but hasn’t suffered a setback since. The New Yorker has won three straight in a five month span, including a UFC 169 victory over Kevin Lee last month. Before signing with the UFC, Iaquinta competed exclusively with Atlantic City-based Ring of Combat.
Clarke’s (10-2) last fight was his first in over a year. The Saskatchewan product defeated John Maguire at UFC 161 after a hiatus that begain in July 2012. Prior to his victory, Clarke lost to Anton Kuivanen and John Cholish in first two UFC fights.
UFC Fight Night 40
A bantamweight bout between Eddie Wineland and Johnny Eduardo has been added to the Cincinnati card.
Wineland (21-9-1) is looking for a second straight victory after defeating Ives Jabouin at UFC on FOX 10. The No. 4 ranked bantamweight in the UFC is looking to get back on top after losing a title bout with Barao last September.
Meanwhile, Eduardo (26-9) will need to shake off some ring rust as he hasn’t stepped in an Octagon since May 2012. The Brazilian is 1-1 in the UFC, beating Jeff Curran and losing to Raphael Assuncao, and won his last 11 fights before joining the promotion.
Erik Koch faces Daron Cruickshank in a battle of fighters looking for a second straight victory. Koch (14-4) defeated Rafaello Oliveira via TKO at UFC 170 after losing his previous two matches. Similarly, Cruickshank (14-4) knocked out Mike Rio last January, shaking off a Fight Night 32 loss to Adriano Martins.