Estevan Payan will attempt to rebound from an unsuccessful UFC debut. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Hard-hitting 145-pounders Robbie Peralta and Estevan Payan have agreed to square off at UFC 168.
UFC officials Monday announced the matchup via Twitter. UFC 168 takes place Dec. 28 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a middleweight championship rematch between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva. The Peralta-Payan bout will be part of the event’s preliminary card.
Peralta, 27, returns to the Octagon after serving a six-month suspension handed down by the UFC. The Californian tested positive for marijuana metabolites following his April 6 unanimous decision loss against Akira Corassani in Stockholm. Peralta had previously scored a 23-second knockout of Jason Young, though his most significant victory remains a 2011 split-decision upset of Hiroyuki Takaya under the Strikeforce banner.
Payan suffered a decision defeat in his UFC debut against Jeremy Stephens at UFC 160, a loss which snapped the 31-year-old Arizona Combat Sports product’s eight-fight unbeaten streak. “El Terrible” picked up a pair of wins in Strikeforce, outpointing Alonzo Martinez and punching out Mike Bravo before transferring to the UFC in May.