UFC match maker Joe Silva has been busy these past few days putting together fights for the abundance of upcoming shows to kick off 2012. Recently announced bouts include a featherweight scrap between former WEC champion Mike Brown and Vagner Rocha. Also booked is a middleweight showdown as striker Jorge Rivera will battle grappler Eric Schafer. Both contests are scheduled for UFC on FX 1.
Both bouts will likely be parts of the nights preliminary action and have been confirmed by UFC officials.
After winning the WEC featherweight strap in 2008, Brown hit a rough patch in 2009, starting with his title loss to Jose Aldo. He’s 3-3 since being dethroned as the 145 king but is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Nam Phan at UFC 133, which snapping a two fight losing streak. Rocha will be dropping to 145 for the first time in his career when he steps in the cage against Brown. He picked up his first UFC victory this past September when he submitted Cody McKenzie in the second round.
Rivera and Schafer are both in a must-win situation this January as they’re each coming off losses. Rivera has lost two straight bouts to Michael Bisping and Constantinos Philippou while Schafer dropped a decision to Aaron Simpson. A 39-year-old veteran, Rivera is 7-7 in his UFC career and appears to be on his last legs as a fighter. After spending his entire career at light heavyweight, Schafer dropped to middleweight but still couldn’t find UFC success as his octagon record dropped to 3-5.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC