Papy Abedi will make his UFC debut in England. | Photo: Ryan O'Leary
Another matchup has joined the burgeoning card for UFC 138, as onetime welterweight contender Thiago Alves will meet UFC newcomer Papy Abedi in Birmingham, England.
UFC officials announced Wednesday that both fighters verbally agreed to the bout on Tuesday.
The newly announced UFC 138 goes down Nov. 5 at Birmingham’s LG Arena and will be topped by the promotion’s first non-title five-rounder, a middleweight tilt between Chris Leben and Mark Munoz. The event will air via tape delay in North America on Spike TV.
Since his seven-fight tear from 2006 to 2008, Alves has gone 1-3, including a 25-minute decision loss to welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre. The 27-year-old “Pitbull” from American Top Team outpointed John Howard in December, but was decisioned by Rick Story in their May bout at UFC 130. Alves’ fight with Abedi will mark his first trip to the U.K. since June 2008, when he knocked out former champ Matt Hughes in London.
Abedi, 33, signed a four-fight deal with the UFC in June and will make his 170-pound debut against Alves, having spent the first eight bouts of his career at 185. The Congo-born judo black belt has finished all but one of his opponents and has not gone the distance in six fights. Abedi last competed in October, notching a first-round submission over Nathan Schouteren; an unspecified injury kept Abedi from his scheduled welterweight debut in April.