Tachi featherweight champion Eddie Yagin is the latest. He’ll step into the Octagon at UFC 135 in Denver to face Junior Assuncao.
Not wanting to leave its featherweight belt on the table, Tachi’s Jeremy Luchau informed MMAWeekly.com on Monday that Isaac DeJesus (9-3) would step in the cage with Bellator veteran Georgi Karakhanyan (16-3-1) at TPF 11 to fight for the vacant title.
“It took some time and a lot of work, but we are very happy with this fight,” said Luchau. “Georgi is a well rounded veteran and we are excited to have him on the roster and fighting a fan favorite like Isaac.”
DeJesus has traveled a rocky road the past couple of years. He won the first Tachi featherweight title at TPF 3 early last year, but never had an official defense of his belt.
He lost a 160-pound catchweight bout to WEC veteran “Razor” Rob McCullough and was submitted by Micah Miller in his next fight. The bout with Miller was supposed to have been a title defense, but Miller came in over weight, nullifying the fight’s championship status.
DeJesus knocked out Russ Miura at TPF 9 in May, but the result of that bout was ruled a no contest by the California State Athletic Commission after DeJesus tested positive for marijuana. He was subsequently stripped of the belt.
He’ll attempt to retrieve his former hardware against Karakhanyan, who was a tough draw in the Bellator ranks. Karakhanyan was a modest 2-2 during his Bellator tenure, but his two losses were to current Bellator champion Joe Warren and to Season 4 tournament winner Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
DeJesus and Freire square off at TPF 11 on Dec. 2 at Tachi Palace in Lemoore, Calif.