The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to the East Coast is coming together with the promotion already making six UFC 128 bouts official for its March 19 event in New Jersey.
UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua headlines the card, defending his belt from former champion Rashad Evans. The fight has been lined up for several months, but Evans has had to wait patiently on the sidelines while Rua recovered from knee surgery.
The co-main event features bantamweights Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland in a bout that is likely to determine the No. 1 contender to UFC 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz. Faber is the former kingpin of the WEC. Wineland was that promotion’s first bantamweight champion, quietly clawing his way back into contention with four-straight victories.
Also highlighting the main card is Jim Miller, who will be fighting on his home turf in New Jersey. He has fought his way to a 19-2 professional record; losing only to the two men currently locking horns over the UFC lightweight title, champion Frankie Edgar and No. 1 contender Gray Maynard.
Believing he should be considered in title contention, Miller wants a Top 10 type of fighter. He’ll fight WEC transfer Kamal Shalorus at UFC 128. Shalorus isn’t currently in the Top 10, but he is undefeated at 7-0-2, coming off a victory over Bart Palaszewski at WEC 53.
Other announced UFC 128 bouts include: Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau, Anthony Njokuani vs. Edson Barboza Jr., and Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian Loveland.