One-time WEC fighter Danny Martinez (16-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is getting his wish: an official fight in the UFC octagon.
UFC officials today announced that Martinez, an Alliance MMA fighter who lost an elimination-round fight as a bantamweight on “The Ultimate Fighter 18,” has replaced injured Kyoji Horiguchi (12-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and will fight flyweight Chris Cariaso (15-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC) at UFC 169.
UFC 169 takes place Feb. 1 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
SEE ALSO: There’s nothing like a live UFC pay-per-view. Click here for VIP packages to UFC 169.
Martinez vs. Cariaso is slated for the FOX Sports 1 prelims.
Martinez previously told MMAjunkie that he hated fighting on short notice in other organizations, though he’d make an exception for the UFC. The fighter, a former collegiate wrestler, now gets his chance while riding a three-fight winning streak. In fact, since a decision loss to Joseph Benavidez at WEC 37, he’s 4-1 with three knockouts.
Although he hasn’t logged an official pro fight since December 2012, Martinez did fight (and suffered a submission loss) to eventual show runner-up Davey Grant on “TUF 18.”
Cariaso, meanwhile, boasts 10 combined fights under the UFC and WEC banners, including a 2-2 mark at 125 pounds since dropping to the division in July 2012. Most recently, the 32-year-old earned an impressive second-round TKO win over Iliarde Santos at UFC Fight Night 29 in Brazil.
The latest UFC 169 card includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Champ Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber – for bantamweight title
- Champ Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas – for featherweight title
- Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem
- Ali Bagautinov vs. John Lineker
- Abel Trujillo vs. Jamie Varner
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
- John Makdessi vs. Alan Patrick
- Chris Cariaso vs. Danny Martinez
- Nick Catone vs. Tom Watson
- Al Iaquinta vs. Kevin Lee
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)
- Andy Enz vs. Clint Hester
- Rashid Magomedov vs. Tony Martin
- Neil Magny vs. Gasan Umalatov
For the latest on UFC 169, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Danny Martinez)