by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Luke Caudillo on Friday confirmed to MMAWeekly that he has accepted a bout with Marcus Aurelio for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Nov. 17 event in Newark, N.J. Though not officially announced, the bout is expected to round out the fight card at the Prudential Center.
“We were looking more at December,” said Caudillo on the timing of the fight, “but it sounds like they offered this to a lot of guys and nobody really wanted to take it. So I said, ‘Let’s do it man. I’m a fighter.’”
Having fought his way into the UFC by way of the hard-nosed regional promotions of the Midwest, Caudillo realizes that Aurelio’s jiu-jitsu prowess and top-level experience makes the fight a difficult task.
“He’s an awesome jiu-jitsu guy,” he said of the American Top Team black belt. “And, I mean, he’s fought Gomi, you know. He’s one of the best.”
Aurelio and Caudillo are on equal footing when it comes to the UFC though, as both men lost their Octagon debuts.
In fact, Aurelio’s loss to Clay Guida at UFC 74 in August extended his losing streak to three, dating back to June of 2006.
Caudillo, meanwhile, had a two-fight winning streak snapped in his unanimous decision loss to Nate Mohr at UFC Fight Night 10 in Hollywood, Fla. back in June. But he still takes on a positive outlook from the experience.
“I’m kind of glad it’s out of the way. I didn’t think I was going to get the (first time) jitters, but as soon as the lights hit and the cameras rolled, I was a little nervous. So it’s good to have that out of the way.”
Now Caudillo can just focus on the task at hand, and having lost in his debut, he knows that this task is more than just Aurelio.
“It’s a ‘must win’ for me right now because I want to stay in the UFC.”
Earlier this week, the UFC made official a headline bout between Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping, as well as four more bouts to complete the planned UFC 78 pay-per-view fights.
Evans vs. Bisping marks the first time that two season-winners from The Ultimate Fighter will face each other in the Octagon.
UFC 78 is scheduled for Nov. 17 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Officially announced bouts for UFC 78:
–Rashad Evans vs. Michael Bisping
–Houston Alexander vs. Thiago Silva
–David Terrell vs. Ed Herman
–Karo Parisyan vs. Hector Lombard
–Frankie Edgar vs. Spencer Fisher
Other UFC 78 bouts, not yet officially announced:
–Thiago Alves vs. Ryo Chonan
–Akihiro Gono vs. Tamdan McCrory
–Joe Lauzon vs. Jason Reinhardt
–Luke Caudillo vs. Marcus Aurelio