Lightweight submission specialists Thiago Tavares (13-2) and Kurt Pellegrino (15-4) will tangle at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga. on September 6.
It’s a match up between two 155-pound fighters who up until recently were in the title hunt. However, recent losses for both fighters have temporarily dashed those hopes, making this showdown super important for the winner — it will get him back in the mix much faster.
After bursting on the UFC scene with two straight wins, Tavares created quite a buzz — he was being touted as a possible threat to the champion. However, he has since come back down to Earth, losing two of his last three fights. And the last one — a knockout defeat courtesy of Matt Wiman at UFC 85: “Bedlam” last month — was a huge setback.
Pellegrino was dominating his last fight against Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 13 back in April; however, he made one small mistake and the resilient Diaz was able to capitalize and lock in a fight-ending triangle choke in the second round. It was a bitter pill to swallow — he was really putting it on Diaz prior to the stoppage.
This is a fantastic match-up and guaranteed barn burner. It's also about as close to a do or die match for either man as any match can be, but particularly for Tavares. He cannot drop three out of his last four to established UFC veterans if he expects to build any momentum in this organization.