(Only Brandao can make a mouthful of Tropical Skittles seem so Goddamn intimidating. Photo via MMAWeekly.)
A plethora of fights have recently been announced for the UFC’s return to Sweden on April 6th, starting with a featherweight scrap that is all but guaranteed to deliver some high-level thrills. Since winning the TUF 14 plaque back in December of 2011 following a dominant run on the show, Diego Brandao has gone just 1-1 in the UFC, dropping a unanimous decision to Darren Elkins in his sophomore appearance at UFC 146 before scoring a UD win of his own over Joey Gambino at UFC 153. For his next appearance, the 5’7″ Brazilian will be forced to somehow negate the distance created by 6’1″ Pablo Garza, who recently bounced back from a two-fight losing streak (including a UD loss to TUF 14 runner-up Dennis Bermudez) by retiring Mark Hominick at UFC 154.
These subtle Cake references doing anything for you guys? OK, I’ll stop.
Although Garza hinted at a drop to 135 following his win over Hominick, it appears as if he will be looking to build a little momentum at featherweight before doing so. That, or Garza came to realization that he already resembles Brian Robeson at the end of Hatchet come fight night and dropping another ten pounds would likely kill him.
Also on par for UFC on FUEL 9 is a lightweight pairing between Reza Madadi (1-1 UFC) and TUF 12 runner-up Michael Johnson (4-3 UFC), both of whom are coming off losses at UFC 153 and UFC 155, respectively. Middleweights Tom Lawlor and Michael Kuiper will also meet at the event. Lawlor most recently dropped a controversial decision (controversial meaning “bullshit” in this case) to the highly-touted Francis Carmont at UFC 154, whereas Kuiper last scored a second round TKO over Jared Hamman at UFC 150.
The full lineup for UFC on FUEL 9 is below.
-Alexander Gustafsson vs. Gegard Mousasi
-Philip De Fries vs. Matt Mitrione
-Mike Easton vs. Brad Pickett
-Ryan Couture vs. Ross Pearson
-Diego Brandao vs. Pablo Garza
-Michael Kuiper vs. Tom Lawlor
-Marcus Brimage vs. Conor McGregor
-Michael Johnson vs. Reza Madadi
-Akira Corassani vs. Robert Peralta
-Papy Abedi vs. Besam Yousef
-Adlan Amagov vs. Chris Spang
-Ben Alloway vs. Ryan LaFlare