Pieces for UFC’s Brazil Return Falling Into Place

By Brian Knapp May 23, 2011
Former Tachi Palace Fights welterweight champion David Mitchell will toe the line against Paulo Thiago (Pictured; file photo) in a 170-pound duel at UFC 134 “Silva vs. Okami” on Aug. 27 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Five fights are now signed for the event, which will air live on pay-per-view.

Mitchell (11-1, 0-1 UFC) last appeared at UFC Fight Night 22 in September, when Anthony Waldburger spoiled his promotional debut by taking a unanimous decision at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas; the defeat snapped his 11-fight winning streak. The 31-year-old Californian has secured nine of his 11 career victories by submission, seven of them inside one round. Wins over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 6 alum War Machine, reigning King of the Cage lightweight champion Bobby Green and UFC veteran Tim McKenzie highlight Mitchell’s resume.

A judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Thiago (13-3, 3-3 UFC) will enter the cage on a two-fight losing streak. The 30-year-old Constrictor Team representative has not competed since UFC 121 in October, when he dropped a unanimous decision to “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner Diego Sanchez at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Thiago has delivered 10 of his 13 professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. His list of victims includes American Kickboxing Academy teammates Mike Swick and Josh Koscheck.

Meanwhile, the seasoned and well-traveled Spencer Fisher will meet Thiago Tavares in a preliminary lightweight matchup at UFC 134.

Fisher (24-7, 9-6 UFC) finds himself in need of a victory, having lost three of his last four bouts. The 35-year-old Brevard, N.C., native last fought at UFC 127 in February, when he came out on the wrong end of a unanimous decision to “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner Ross Pearson at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. A Pat Miletich protégé, the versatile Fisher has recorded 19 of his 24 career victories by KO, TKO or submission and has only been finished twice in 31 professional outings. One of the UFC’s most prolific competitors, his 15 Octagon appearances tie him with Kenny Florian and Jon Fitch for 15th all-time.

The enigmatic Tavares (15-4-1, 5-4-1 UFC), a three-time “Fight of the Night” winner, has not posted consecutive victories in nearly four years. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, he last appeared at UFC Live 3 in March, when he succumbed to second-round punches from WEC import Shane Roller at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. Tavares has delivered more than half (11) of his 15 wins by submission.

A five-round middleweight title fight pairing longtime champion Anderson Silva with the world-ranked Yushin Okami will headline UFC 134, as the promotion returns to Brazil for the first time since 1998. Okami was the last man to defeat Silva, having done so by disqualification under the Rumble on the Rock banner in January 2006.

UFC 134 “Silva vs. Okami”
Saturday, Aug. 27
HSBC Arena
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


UFC Middleweight Championship
Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami

Ross Pearson vs. Edson Mendes Barboza Jr.
Luiz Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov
Spencer Fisher vs. Thiago Tavares
Paulo Thiago vs. David Mitchell
* Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Forrest Griffin
* Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub
* Rousimar Palhares vs. Alexandre Ferreira
* Yuri Alcantara vs. Mackens Semerzier

* Not Official

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