Rousimar Palhares will make his welterweight debut at UFC Fight Night 29, when the former middleweight locks horns with Mike Pierce on Oct. 9.
UFC officials Thursday announced the booking, which joins a card topped by a pivotal 170-pound clash pitting Demian Maia against Jake Shields. UFC Fight Night 29 takes place at the Jose Correa Arena in Barueri, Brazil and airs live on Fox Sports 1.
Palhares last competed in December, when he was knocked out by former Bellator champion Hector Lombard in a loss that signaled the Brazilian’s second consecutive defeat. “Toquinho” then saw his post-fight drug test flagged for elevated levels of testosterone and was suspended for nine months. Known for his powerful physique and skill in applying leg locks, the 33-year-old owns 10 of his 14 career wins by way of submission.
Pierce, 32, has posted nine victories against just three defeats since joining the UFC in 2009. The hard-nosed welterweight has won four straight fights since his split decision loss to Josh Koscheck in February 2012, besting the likes of Carlos Eduardo Rocha, Aaron Simpson and Seth Baczynski before stopping David Mitchell this past July at UFC 162.