UFC officials on Monday added two more bouts to the January fight card. Verbal agreements are in place for a lightweight battle between Vladimir Matyushenko and Ryan Bader, as well as a welterweight fight pitting David Mitchell against Simeon Thoresen.
Matyushenko (26-6) steps back into the Octagon for the first time since losing to Alexander Gustafsson in late December of last year. He was supposed to have returned sooner, against Matt Hamill at UFC 152, but was forced out of that bout with a torn Achilles tendon.
He’ll square up against Ryan Bader (14-3), who is also coming into the fight off of a loss. Lyoto Machida knocked Bader out in the second round of their bout at UFC on Fox 4 in August.
Both Matyushenko and Bader have been on the fringe of garnering a title shot over the past couple of years, but neither has been able to take that final step, so this bout will serve as the start of a rebuilding effort for the winner.
Mitchell (11-2) is still searching for his first victory in the Octagon, having lost back-to-back bouts to TJ Waldburger and Paulo Thiago.
Thoresen (17-3-1) lost to Seth Baczynski in his last trip to the cage, but had already notched his first UFC victory in the fight prior to that, defeating Besam Yousef earlier this year.
Demtrious Johnson’s first UFC flyweight title defense headlines the UFC on Fox 6 fight card. He’ll defend the belt against TUF 14 bantamweight tournament winner John Dodson.