Diego Nunes (18-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Nik Lentz (24-5-2 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) are set to meet when the UFC returns to Brazil.
As MMAjunkie.com first reported, the UFC will return to Brazil for the Jan. 19 event, though a host city hasn’t been determined. The event is expected to be a UFC on FUEL TV or UFC on FX offering, not a pay-per-view card.
Nunes got back in the win column with a “Fight of the Night” unanimous decision victory over Bart Palaszewski this past month at UFC on FX 5 in Minneapolis. Since coming to the UFC following the merger with the WEC, Nunes has alternated wins and losses and hasn’t been able to string together two in a row since he was in the WEC.
The Brazilian, who trains at the renowned Nova Uniao camp, went 4-1 in the WEC before coming to the UFC, where he started with a decision win over former WEC featherweight champ Mike Brown. He followed that with a close decision loss to Kenny Florian, rebounded with a decision win over Manny Gamburyan, then was outpointed by Dennis Siver in April before beating Palaszewski. Nunes’ past 10 fights all have ended in decisions, and he is 7-3 over that stretch.
Lentz in August won for the first time in four fights. The American Top Team-trained fighter picked up a first-round TKO of Eiji Mitsuoka at UFC 150. That bout was his debut at featherweight after a drop down from lightweight, where he had been winless in his previous three fights.
Despite winning for the first time in more than a year in August, “The Carny” did have a pair of “Fight of the Night” bonuses in fights against Charles Oliveira and Evan Dunham. Oliveira’s original submission win was overturned to a no contest after confirmation of an illegal knee. And in January, the cageside doctor stopped his fight against Evan Dunham after two rounds due to a deep cut.
Before that three-fight skid, though, Lentz was 5-0-1 in the UFC, and he’ll be trying to continue his recent momentum in his new division.