Two UFC welterweights could find themselves fighting for their spot on the promotion’s roster at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Paulo Thiago is set to square off with David Mitchell when the UFC returns to South America for the first time in more than a decade.
Thiago (13-3) is coming off back-to-back losses to Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann, and likely needs a win to remain on the crowded roster of welterweights. He’ll have the added advantage of fighting on his home turf in Brazil, but faces a tough finisher who is coming off the first loss of his career.
Mitchell (11-1) tore through the competition on the California MMA circuit, but stumbled in his Octagon debut, losing a unanimous decision to T.J. Waldburger at UFC Fight Night 22. Mitchell was initially scheduled to make his second start against Mike Swick in January, but an injury forced him off the card. Like Thiago, he’ll likely need a win, or at least a strong performance, at UFC 134 to remain on the roster.
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is expected to defend his title against number-two-ranked Yushin Okami in the main event in Rio.
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