The UFC has announced that former IFL middleweight champion Matt Horwich will make his debut with the promotion at UFC 90 on Oct. 25 vs. jiu-jitsu black belt Ricardo Almeida.
Horwich, a member of Matt Lindland’s Team Quest in Portland, Ore., is 23-10-1 overall in his MMA career. He posted a 7-4 record in the IFL with notable victories over Mike Pyle, Brian Foster, and Benji Radach.
With his win over Radach this past December during the league’s World Grand Prix finals, Horwich became the IFL’s first-ever middleweight champion. However, Horwich lost the title to Ryan McGivern in his first-ever defense this past February in Las Vegas.
The 30-year old last competed during the IFL’s last-ever show on May 16 in Connecticut, where he recorded a unanimous decision victory over former training partner Joey Guel.
Horwich is the latest in a long line of former IFL fighters to enlist with the UFC, a list that includes Rory Markham, Andre Gusmao, Brad Blackburn, Jim Miller, Dan Miller, Mike Massenzio, and Reese Andy.
Horwich’s opponent, Almeida, is 9-3 overall in an MMA career that dates back to 2000. A black belt under the legendary Renzo Gracie, Almeida operates his own school in New Jersey and has an extensive background as a competitive grappler.
He returned to competitive MMA after nearly a four-year absence this past February at UFC 81, where he needed just 1:08 of round 1 to submit Rob Yundt with a guillotine choke.
Almeida most recently fought on July 5 at UFC 86 in a featured bout vs. Patrick Cote in which the winner would earn a title shot against current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Following a split decision loss to Cote sis lifetime record in the UFC fell to 2-3. Prior to his return at UFC 81, Almeida had previously competed in the UFC between 2001-2002. He is also a veteran of PRIDE and Pancrase.
UFC 90 will take place from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., located just outside of Chicago. The event is scheduled to be headlined by a title defense by Silva against Cote. A welterweight bout between Thiago Alves and Diego Sanchez is also being advertised and the UFC has also officially announced a previously reported matchup between Thales Leites and Goran Reljic.