Bantamweights Walel Watson and Mitch Gagnon will lock horns at UFC 152, promotion officials announced Friday.
UFC 152 takes place Sept. 22 at the Air Canada Centre and is headlined by a flyweight title confrontation between former bantamweight contenders Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson. The pay-per-view offering will also see Michael Bisping square off with Brian Stann in the co-main event, while former two-division champion B.J. Penn locks horns with once-beaten Canadian prospect Rory MacDonald.
Watson enters the cage coming off back-to-back defeats. After performing impressively against Joseph Sandoval in his October Octagon debut, “The Gazelle” suffered a split-decision loss to WEC vet Yves Jabouin to close out 2011. Watson then kicked off 2012 with a one-sided unanimous decision defeat to “Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 finalist T.J. Dillashaw, who continually put Watson on his back and punished him with ground-and-pound at UFC on Fuel TV 1.
Gagnon started strong in his first UFC appearance two weeks ago at UFC 149 but was ultimately outlasted by veteran grappler Bryan Caraway, who submitted the Canadian prospect with a rear-naked choke in round three. Prior to the loss, Gagnon, 27, had won six consecutive fights dating back to May 2009.