Rousimar Palhares (16-6) won the promotion’s 170-pound strap just Saturday after relieving Steve Carl of the belt and snapping his 7-fight win streak by heel hook just over a minute into their bout, and within 24 hours is slated for his first defense of the gold.
Palhares will put his belt on the line against fellow former UFC veteran, Jon Fitch (25-6).
Both fighters have highly successful UFC records, Fitch at 14-4-1 and Rousimar at 8-4, both combined have never tasted gold until Palhares won on Saturday.
Fitch who upon hearing the signing of the brazllian that was relased from The Ultimate Fighting Championship for a flagrant upholding of a heel hook after the bell sounded against Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29, vowed he’d never step into the cage with him.
This was the second offense of Palhares’ MMA career as he was suspended 90 days from the New Jersey State Athletic Commission for holding a submission on Thomasz Drwal too long back at UFC 111.
However sometimes a fighter has to go through “choppy” waters if he wishes to keep his business in tact, and if Jon wants to fight for gold he’ll have to go through “Toquinho” on July 11.