Weidman, Duran Sign Multi-Fight Deals, Join UFC Live 3 Lineup

By Mike Whitman Feb 15, 2011
Ultimate Fighting Championship newcomers Chris Weidman (Pictured) and Reuben Duran will step in on short notice to compete at UFC Live 3 “Sanchez vs. Kampmann” against hard-hitting Italian Alessio Sakara and onetime WEC bantamweight contender Takeya Mizugaki, respectively.

Weidman replaces an injured Rafael “Sapo” Natal, who was forced to withdraw from his bout with Sakara due to a knee injury. Sherdog.com has confirmed both Natal’s injury and Weidman’s participation against Sakara with sources close to the bout. Additionally, Sherdog.com has learned that Weidman has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC. Heavy.com initially reported Weidman’s involvement on Monday, and Versus.com first broke news of Natal’s injury on Saturday.

News of Duran’s fight was announced by his management company, Iridium Sports Agency, via Facebook on Monday night. The agency also made note of Duran’s new, five-fight deal with the promotion.

UFC on Versus 3 will be headlined by a pivotal welterweight clash between Danish striker Martin Kampmann and the resurgent Diego Sanchez. The show will go down March 3 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.

Weidman holds a perfect professional record since beginning his career two years ago. He has fought exclusively for the New Jersey-based Ring of Combat promotion, winning the organization's middleweight title in just his third pro fight. Weidman has finished three of his four victims, earning back-to-back knockouts after debuting with a submission victory. Most recently, the Serra-Longo Fight Team product earned a unanimous decision win over Valdir Arraujo at Ring of Combat 33 in December.

Duran began his career in 2006, struggling out of the gate and going 0-1-1 in his first two fights. He would rebound impressively, however, winning seven of his next eight and finishing six of his opponents. A product of Pinnacle Jiu-Jitsu and MMA in California, the bantamweight has only lost once via submission and has never been knocked out.
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