UFC 153 now has a headlining attraction, as promotion officials announced Thursday that the Oct. 13 bill will be topped by a featherweight title collision between reigning champion Jose Aldo and challenger Erik Koch.
The promotion revealed the news on its official Brazilian website and also confirmed that “TUF 15” alum Cristiano Marcello will square off with surging Swede Reza Madadi in a lightweight confrontation. UFC 153 is expected to take place at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro and will mark the promotion's fourth trip to Brazil since returning to the South American nation last year after a near 13-year absence. The event's main draw is expected to air on pay-per-view and will also feature a light heavyweight bout between former champion Quinton Jackson and hard-hitting veteran Glover Teixeira.
Aldo was initially expected to face Koch this Saturday at UFC 149 in Calgary, but the champion was forced to withdraw from that booking due to injury. “Scarface” has lost just once in more than seven years as a pro and rides a 14-fight winning streak heading into his clash with Koch, most recently knocking out the previously unbeaten Chad Mendes on Jan. 14 to defend his UFC title for a third time.
Koch, meanwhile, has won four straight fights since suffering his lone career defeat to Mendes in 2010. “New Breed” has been perfect in his UFC career thus far, knocking out Rafael Assuncao in March 2011 before outpointing a game Jonathan Brookins this past September at Fight Night 25.
Marcello formerly served as the jiu-jitsu coach for the vaunted Chute Boxe camp, making his pro debut in 1997. Now representing his own team, CM System, the lightweight was knocked out by fellow “TUF 15” cast mate Sam Sicilia at the June 1 season finale. Nevertheless, Marcello has won six of his last eight fights, submitting five of his fallen foes in that span.
Madadi rides a seven-fight winning streak into his showdown with Marcello. The Iranian-born Swede made his UFC debut on home soil in April, submitting Floridian prospect Yoislandy Izquierdo at UFC on Fuel TV 2 in Stockholm. “Mad Dog” owns seven of his 12 career wins by submission and has never been finished as a pro.