UFC 93 on January 17 from the O2 in Dublin, Ireland is shaping up to be a showcase for light heavyweights. With headlining bouts between Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson (to be contested at 205 pounds) and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Mark Coleman already set, an intriguing clash at 205 between Andre Gusmao and Antonio Mendes has also been added to the card.
The news of Gusmao vs. Mendes at UFC 93 is according to a report in the Oct. 13 print edition of the Wrestling Observer.
Gusmao trains out of Renzo Gracie’s gym in New York and will look to redeem himself after suffering the first loss of his professional career in his UFC debut this past August at UFC 87.
Originally scheduled to face Tomasz Drwal, Gusmao was instead paired up on short notice with fellow-East Coast fighter Jon Jones, a true rookie to MMA who trains out of Team Bomb Squad.
Despite being heavily favored, Gusmao’s training in the Brazilian arts of jiu-jitsu and Capoeira proved to be no match for the athletic Jones, who walked away with a unanimous decision victory in an upset. The loss dropped the former IFL light heavyweight’s record to 5-1.
Like Gusmao, Mendes is both a native of Brazil and also coming off a loss in his UFC debut. His record fell to 15-3 after submitting to punches from Thiago Silva at 2:24 of round 1 at UFC 84 this past May.
Prior to signing with the UFC, Mendes made a name for himself Internationally competing for promotions such as Poland’s KSW and Russia’s M-1. His last win took place during an M-1 and MFC co-promotion in July of 2007 when he recorded a second round TKO over Kiril “Baby Fedor” Sidelnikov of Red Devil Fight Team fame.
It’s currently uncertain whether the Gusmao vs. Mendes matchup will be a part of UFC 93’s non-televised preliminary card or the televised main card.