Just a couple days after Nick Catone had to pull out of the fight due to a torn Achilles tendon, Aaron Simpson has a new opponent for UFC 136 on Oct. 8 in Houston. Simpson on Friday announced via his website that he will welcome Eric “Red” Schafer back to the Octagon.
“I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to a very tough challenge. Eric is a big guy who is cutting down to 185 from his normal weight class of 205, where he fought Ryan Bader,” Simpson wrote. “He has a very tough ground game and I will have to be at the top of my game to beat him, which is why I am so excited for this challenge.”
Simpson (9-2) is coming off of back-to-back victories, over Brad Tavares and Mario Miranda. The wins were a strong recovery after losses to Mark Munoz and Chris Leben disrupted Simpson’s undefeated streak. He won seven consecutive fights to start off his professional career.
Schafer (12-5-2) has served a couple tours of duty in the Octagon, but saw himself on the outside looking in following back-to-back losses to Ryan Bader and Justin Brilz. He rebounded with a first-round submission of Chris Albandia at XFO 41 in September, setting himself up for the opportunity to step in for Catone.
Two title bouts head the UFC 136 fight card. UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will fight Gray Maynard for a third time in the main event, while featherweight champion Jose Aldo returns to defend his belt against Kenny Florian in the co-main event in Houston.