Spencer Fisher (above) will battle Thiago Tavares at UFC “Rio.” | Photo: Dave Mandel
The fight card for UFC “Rio” is beginning to fill out, as a lightweight scrap between veterans Spencer Fisher and Thiago Tavares is reportedly in the works for the August event.
Tavares confirmed the news to Sherodog.com on Saturday; the pairing was first reported by Portal do Vale Tudo.
“I can’t believe it yet,” said Tavares. “It’s a dream come true. I was thinking that it was impossible for me to fight in my country. I felt like crying when I heard this news.
“Fisher is a really tough guy. He’s [Pat] Miletich’s student and has excellent sparring partners, like Matt Hughes and Robbie Lawler,” Tavares asserted. “I’ll be ready, in the best shape of my life. The war will be in my territory, and I hope for a great performance in front of my audience.”
UFC “Rio” is scheduled to go down August 27 from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event, which marks the UFC's first trip to Brazil since 1998, will likely be headlined by a middleweight title confrontation between dominant champion Anderson Silva and No. 1 contender Yushin Okami.
A 15-time UFC veteran, Fisher has lost three of his last four bouts in the Octagon. After racking up three-straight wins from 2008 to 2009, “King” was finished by Joe Stevenson at UFC 104. The 34-year-old would follow that loss with another defeat, coming up short in a hard-fought, three-round affair with Dennis Siver last June. Though Fisher would rebound with a victory, out-pointing Curt Warburton on the Brit's home soil at UFC 120, the southpaw fell in his most recent outing to Warburton's countryman Ross Pearson at UFC 127 in February.
Tavares also comes off a loss heading into his showdown with the American. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt looked sharp in his most recent outing, staggering Shane Roller with punches in the first round of their UFC Live 3 bout. Roller proved resilient, however, and landed a bomb in round two that floored Tavares and finished the fight. Prior to that loss, the Brazilian had gone 2-0-1 in his last three fights, besting Manny Gamburyan and Pat Audinwood while drawing with Nik Lentz, respectively.
Gleidson Venga contributed to this report.