Two lightweight bouts are among the new additions, as T.J. Grant and Kamal Shalorus will lock horns with Carlo Prater and Rafael dos Anjos, respectively. Additionally, Ukrainian bantamweight Azamat Gashimov makes his Octagon debut against the once-beaten Alex Soto. Promotion officials also confirmed that lightweights Donald Cerrone and Jeremy Stephens will square off at the May 15 event, as will bantamweights Jeff Curran and Johnny Eduardo.
Grant, 28, made a successful lightweight debut on Oct. 1 following a 3-3 stint as a UFC welterweight. The Canadian finished powerful wrestler Shane Roller with an armbar at UFC Live 6 to earn his 13th career submission win.
Two years older than his foe, Prater rides a five-fight winning streak into his sophomore UFC appearance. The onetime WEC welterweight title challenger earned a controversial win in his Jan. 14 Octagon debut, as Erick Silva was disqualified for landing strikes to the back of Prater’s head.
Known as the “Prince of Persia,” Shalorus has dropped consecutive fights after beginning his career 7-0-2. The Iranian-born lightweight was defeated in both of his UFC appearances, falling via technical knockout to Jim Miller one year ago before submitting to debuting Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov on Jan. 20.
An eight-time UFC veteran, dos Anjos has posted a 4-4 Octagon record since joining the promotion in 2008. The Brazilian fought with mixed results last year, knocking out George Sotiropoulos in July but losing a split decision to countryman Gleison Tibau in November.
Beaten just once in eight pro outings, Gashimov has won back-to-back fights heading into his first UFC foray. The Ukrainian has seen the judges’ scorecards just once in his four-year career and owns over half of his wins by submission.
Soto, 28, recently suffered the first loss of his career, as he was knocked out by rising talent Michael McDonald at UFC 139 this past November. Prior to the defeat, the Californian had racked up six wins in seven bouts, his only blemish being a draw to Seiji Akao on June 24.view original article >>
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