The wheels are aligned, and the UFC’s partnership with Fox and their other channels is in full speed. On Tuesday, May 15th, the UFC returns to the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia for the third installment of UFC on Fuel TV. While the main card will air live on Fuel TV, the six preliminary fights will air via Facebook stream.
Kicking off the night of action, Alex Soto will take on late replacement Francisco Rivera. Soto is entering the fight off a quick knockout lsos to Michael McDonald at UFC 139 in November of 2011. He will need a victory in order to keep his spot on the UFC’s bantamweight roster. Rivera was just officially announced on May 7th, and has little time to prepare for Soto. Rivera has fought twice for Zuffa, losing to Erik Koch at WEC 52 and to Reuben Duran at the TUF 13 finale. He has since put together a two-fight win streak under the Tachi banner.
In a loser leaves the UFC, Jeff Curran takes on Johnny Eduardo. Curran returned to the UFC in October of 2011 against scott Jorgensen. Jorgensen was able to take Curran down and survive his guard, snapping a two-fight win streak for Big Frog. Eduardo will have been away from the cage for nine months after his unanimous decision loss to Raphael Assuncao. Both fighters have been informed, should they lose, they will be cut.
Rafael Dos Anjos finds himself in a difficult situation against Kamal Shalorus. Dos Anjos has struggled with fighters who have a good wrestling base and Shalorus fits that bill. Shalorus is on a two-fight losing skid and knowing a third loss could spell the end of his UFC career, will likely try to take Dos Anjos down and earn the victory there.
TJ Grant is unfortunately a very streaky fighter in the UFC division. Having gone 4-3 inside the octagon, winning one, then losing one, he’s on the wrong side of this situation against Carlo Prater. Prater is coming off his DQ victory over Erick Silva at UFC 142 where Silva punched him repeatedly in the back of the head. Prater got caught early, and Grant will likely want to implement a similar game plan.
Brad Tavares suffered the first loss of his career at UFC 132 in losing a unanimous decision to Aaron Simpson. The loss snapped a seven-fight win streak for Tavares. Standing across from him will be Dongi Yang who has gone just 1-2 inside the octagon. His lone win came over Rob Kimmons, while his two losses were to Chris Camozzi and Court McGee.
Finalizing the preliminary card, Marcus LeVesseur takes on Cody McKenzie. LeVesseur makes his UFC debut after compiling a three-fight win streak. McKenzie has won nearly every one of his fights by guillotine choke but has suffered back-to-back losses to Yves Edwards and Vagner Rocha. If the former Ultimate Fighter contestant wants to remain employed by the UFC, he will need to return to his winning ways.
Tags: Alex Soto, Brad Tavares, Carlo Prater, Cody McKenzie, Dongi Yang, Francisco Rivera, Jeff Curran, Johnny Eduardo, Kamal Shalorus, Marcus LeVesseur, Rafael dos Anjos, T.J. Grant, UFC on Fuel TV, UFC on Fuel TV 3
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