Facing lengthy injury rehab, Marcus Brimage plans drop to 135 upon UFC return


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marcus-brimage-3.jpgWhen Marcus Brimage returns from an injury that will keep him down likely into 2014, he will do so in a new weight class.

Brimage (6-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is rehabbing an Achilles tendon injury, but when he comes back, he is planning to drop from featherweight to bantamweight.

Brimage’s manager, Lex McMahon, on Wednesday confirmed the plan to MMAjunkie.com after Brimage on Tuesday told Amy Barton of MMA DieHards’ Punch Drunk Radio of his decision to move down to 135 pounds.

“Marcus has started his rehab and is working with a team of doctors, therapists, coaches and nutritionists to make certain that he returns to the octagon as soon as possible and in the best shape possible,” McMahon told MMAjunkie.com. “Current estimates are for a nine-month recovery. Upon his return, Marcus will fight as a bantamweight.”

After appearing on Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Brimage started his official UFC career 3-0 at featherweight with decision wins over Stephen Bass, Maximo Blanco and Jimy Hettes.

But in April at UFC on FUEL TV 8 in Sweden, Brimage ran into the debuting Conor McGregor, who stopped him with a 67-second TKO, his first official loss since February 2008 in his third pro fight.

Brimage finally got his “Utlimate Fighter” break on “TUF 14.” After making the initials cuts for “TUF 8? and “TUF 9,” injuries derailed his shots of being in the reality competition. But he got onto the “TUF 14? cast and after winning his fight to get into the house, he was chosen to be part of Michael Bisping‘s team. In the quarterfinals, though, he was submitted by Bryan Caraway in the second round.

Caraway now fights at bantamweight, as well, and Brimage told Punch Drunk Radio he certainly would be interested in a fight against his former housemate when he returns.

Brimage started his career as a lightweight in 2007 and fought three times in less than a year. The injuries and “TUF” tryouts kept him out of official action for nearly two and a half years, but he returned from his first career loss with a TKO win before getting into the “TUF” house. He dropped to featherweight for the show, and now will drop 10 pounds more for the next phase of his career.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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