Vinny Magalhaes’ long-expected return to the UFC is now a reality.

Sherdog.com confirmed with a source close to the fighter that the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace has signed a new contract with the Las Vegas-based promotion. Tatame.com first reported the news, though Sherdog’s source asserted the Brazilian outlet’s claim that Magalhaes will return in September was premature.

Magalhaes, 28, was introduced to UFC fans as a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8, fighting his way to the finals of the competition before suffering a technical knockout defeat to Ryan Bader at the live finale. “Pezao” was also defeated in his sophomore Octagon effort, falling to Eliot Marshall via unanimous decision at UFC 97.

Since his departure from the UFC, Magalhaes has won seven of eight fights, capturing the M-1 Global light heavyweight title in April 2011 by submitting Viktor Nemkov with a topside gogoplata-neck crank at M-1 Challenge 25. The Brazilian last competed Oct. 14, earning a third-round technical knockout over Mikhail Zayats to defend his title at M-1 Challenge 27.

In addition to his accomplishments in MMA, Magalhaes is also regarded as one of the world's best submission grapplers, winning gold medals at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in both 2002 and 2005 and then repeating the trick at the 2007 World Nogi Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Most recently, Magalhaes also captured gold at the 2011 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, outpointing fellow black belt Fabricio Werdum in the finals after escaping a memorably deep armbar attempt from “Vai Cavalo.”

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