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Paulo Thiago’s Next Challenge: The Hitman @ UFC 115

("See? I am friend. Now get in van, please." Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Four months after he put Mike Swick to sleep at UFC 109 — thereby going up 2-1 in his one-man assault on the American Kickboxing Academy — welterweight rising star Paulo Thiago will step into the cage at UFC 115 (June 12th, tentatively in Vancouver) against highly regarded contender Martin Kampmann. "The Hitman" is coming off a first-round submission victory over Jacob Volkmann in January, and was slated to take on Ben Saunders at UFC 111, but lost a large piece of his face during training. Coincidentally, Thiago also holds a win over Volkmann, who has been absolutely thrown to the wolves during his brief time with the UFC. (FYI, "Christmas" Volkmann will have his win-or-GTFO match against Ronnys Torres at UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Gomi on March 31st.)

UFC 115 will be headlined by Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz, and is expected to feature Mirko Cro Cop vs. Pat Barry, Ben Rothwell vs. Gilbert Yvel, Tyson Griffin vs. Evan Dunham, and Mac Danzig continuing his slow road back to contendership against Matt Wiman.

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ghostboner- March 10, 2010 at 11:16 pm
Damn you Paulo Thiago. Damn you to hell. My betting record is 2 of 4 on your fights. And I am betting on Kampmann, because he is my countryman. Granted anyone with a winning record against AKA will get my respect andshould not be bet against, but like I said, damn you Paulo Thiago.
LargeMidget- March 10, 2010 at 9:02 pm
Should be a fantastic fight. Hard not to pick Thiago, though.
Komodo- March 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm
Jubbie- March 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm
I think it's more about timing than marketing although that's very convenient for the UFC. At the time, all those people you listed had lost to someone or had lost to a fighter Hardy beat(Saunders lost to Swick). So at the time, an undefeated striking-based fighter made more sense for a potentially exciting fight.

Do I think he should've fought at least one more person before the title fight? Yep. But who else made sense that wasn't coming off a loss?

Edit: I guess Fitch. I can't really see any way he wins a rematch though. But that's probably besides the point.
Dizzlefizz- March 10, 2010 at 3:42 pm
Nope. It's all about the UK market. With Bisping in rapid decline they need a new british fighter to take his place.
cecils_pupils- March 10, 2010 at 3:37 pm
^^^ I hear ya hot sauce. But each fighter on your list has lost in the UFC, Hardy has not... perhaps that's why.
hotsaucemonster- March 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm
with fighters like thiago, saunders, kosheck, and kampman it just blows my mind that dan hardy is fighting for the title
steampunk22- March 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I think the rumor is still that Randy Couture and Rich Franklin are going to fight at UFC 115, which could easily be main/co-main and dramatically bolsters the star power of the card. Overall its not bad so far though. I live near (used to live in) Vancouver, but still haven't made my mind up on whether to attend this event....
ihateemo- March 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm
By "four months" I assume you meant "four weeks", unless we've all fallen into a wormhole and I missed the post about that.
hjdevnull- March 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm
Wow. I would be worried to get into the cage with Paulo Thiago if my nickname was "The Hitman." What if the fact that it's a nickname gets lost in translation and he thinks he needs to arrest and/or kill me? Bad things, man. That's what.

Another thought: perhaps, after finishing up with the welterweights at the California-based AKA, Thiago has decided to slowly move east and take on the welterweights at Extreme Couture. From there, he will move south to Jackson's MMA, then he will travel east and finish his major-gym sweep with American Top Team, culminating with a Name Rights battle-royal with Thiago Silva.
skeletor- March 10, 2010 at 1:38 pm
This is a good matchup on all accounts. But the UFC needs to put something else together for the headliner. Unless I unknowingly sat in a time machine hot tub and got sent bsck to 2003
Viva Hate- March 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm
Based on the refrence in the CP articles today I thought this meant Thiago vs. Bret Hart or based on the UFC recently Tommy Hearns