Former WEC featherweight Mike Brown will face Diego Nunes on the preliminary card of UFC 125.
Former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown will make his UFC return against Diego Nunes at UFC 125 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fight might be broadcast on tape delay during the Pay Per View event if time allows. Otherwise it should be available at UFC.com on Monday.
The UFC absorbed the WEC only a few weeks ago after several years of the two promotions co-existing under the Zuffa banner.
Brown is 2-2 since losing his title to now UFC champ Jose Aldo in November 2009 at WEC 44. He submitted Anthony Morrison at WEC 46 only to be KO'd by Manny Gamburyan at WEC 48. He rebounded with a KO win over Cole Province at WEC 51.
Personal issues were said to have impacted Brown's performance during that time.
Brown once fought at lightweight for the promotion way back at UFC 47 in 2004 against Genki Sudo, losing by arm triangle submission to the Japanese star.
Nunes trains with Brazil's Team Nogueira. He is coming off back-to-back decision wins over Tyler Toner at WEC 51 and Rafael Assuncao at WEC 49. Prior to that he took his only WEC loss in a decision against L.C. Davis 44. All of his fights for the WEC went to decision.
Bloody Elbow's own Leland Roling previewed Brown vs Nunes:
Featherweight: Mike Brown (24-6, 6-2 WEC/UFC) vs. Diego Nunes (15-1, 4-1 WEC/UFC): Brown's strength, power, and wrestling ability is a formidable combination for any opponent to match up against, but as we've seen in Brown's two lossess -- his stand-up game can be exposed if his opponent can avoid being crushed early. Nunes has the type of stand-up game that can give some of the best in the WEC problems, and Brown could be on the receiving end of the diverse striking game of Nunes for most of the fight.
Unfortunately, Nunes doesn't have the power to end the fight in one punch whereas Brown does. That could be the difference maker in this contest. Nunes has relied on his resiliency and survivability in many of his fights, but Brown's power could devastate him in a split second. I think Nunes may get the better of Brown in a few exchanges, but Brown will likely take this to the ground and smother Nunes with his strength. I'll take Brown via decision.
Brown is favored by most oddsmakers going into this fight.
Brent Brookhouse questioned this fight between two highly ranked featherweights -- Brown is ranked #2 in the USAT/SBN Consensus MMA Rankings and Nunes is #14 -- being put on the preliminary card when less relevant bouts are making the telecast.