Two lightweights riding hot streaks, Gleison Tibau and Khabib Nurmagomedov, will face off at UFC 148, promotion officials announced Thursday.
Featuring a light heavyweight rubber match between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin, UFC 148 takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event is also expected to host former middleweight champion Rich Franklin’s return to 185 pounds, as “Ace” locks horns with ex-Strikeforce titlist Cung Le.
Regarded as one of the lightweight division’s strongest competitors, Tibau (Pictured, left) won all three of his bouts in 2011, notching victories over Kurt Pellegrino and Rafaello Oliveira before besting Rafael dos Anjos in November. The 15-time UFC veteran holds a promotional record of 10-5 and owns notable triumphs over Jeremy Stephens, Josh Neer and Caol Uno.
Nurmagomedov has never tasted defeat as a professional and owns all but four of his career victories by either knockout or submission. Representing K Dojo in Fairfield, N.J., the native Russian made a splash in his UFC debut on Jan. 20, submitting lightweight talent Kamal Shalorus with a third-round rear-naked choke at UFC on FX 1.