With Barao Promoted to UFC 148 Co-Main, Mike Easton Steps Up to Face Ivan Menjivar

By Mike Whitman May 19, 2012
Ivan Menjivar has a new opponent for UFC 148.

UFC officials announced Friday that “The Pride of El Salvador” will now take on Mike Easton at the July 7 event, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The evening’s main draw airs live on pay-per-view and will be headlined by a long-anticipated middleweight title rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.

Menjivar, 29, was originally slated to face Renan Barao at UFC 148, but the Brazilian was promoted to co-main event status to meet Urijah Faber for the UFC interim bantamweight title after reigning divisional kingpin Dominick Cruz tore his ACL. Menjivar enters the bout riding a three-fight winning streak. The 11-year pro most recently dispatched “Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 alum John Albert on Feb. 15.

A teammate of Cruz at Alliance MMA, 28-year-old Easton has not lost since 2007. “The Hulk” has posted two wins in his Octagon career thus far, knocking out Byron Bloodworth in October before outpointing Jared Papazian on Jan. 20. Easton was supposed to return to the cage May 15 to face Yves Jabouin at UFC on Fuel TV 3, but was forced to withdraw from that contest due to injury.

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