UFC newcomer, Michael Kuiper (at left) - Photo by Kurt Vermeerbergen
It appears that the UFC has signed another undefeated prospect, as Brazilian site Sportv.com, is reporting that Rafael Natal will welcome Dutch judo specialist, Michael Kuiper, to the Octagon in a middleweight bout at UFC 143 in February:
The Brazilian Rafael "Sapo" Natal will face Dutchman Michael Kuiper in UFC 143 , scheduled event for February 4, 2012 in Las Vegas.Sources close to the organization confirmed the verbal agreement for the fight to SPORTV.COM.
Natal picked up his first UFC win in three tries back in August, taking a unanimous decision over Paul Bradley. Prior to that, "Sapo", who is also a coach at Renzo Gracie's academy in New York City, had drew with Jesse Bongfeldt, and suffered a loss against Rich Attonito.
Kuiper joins the UFC riding a perfect 12-0 record, with only one of those fights having gone to a decision. The judo standout also trains BJJ at Gracie Barra Nederlands, holding the rank of blue belt in that sport. Competing exclusively on the European scene until now, Kuiper hasn't fought since last May.
Rafael "Sapo" Natal (13-3-1)
W Paul Bradley (unam. decision) - UFC 133
Draw Jesse Bongfeldt - UFC 124
L Rich Attonito (unam. decision) - UFN 22
Michael "Judo" Kuiper (12-0)
W Morris Cliffoni (TKO) - Milano in the Cage
W Clarence Noordzee (KO) - SD: Staredown
W David Marcina (TKO) - Live 2 Fight
The current card for UFC 143 on February 4th in Las Vegas now includes:
-Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz - UFC welterweight championship
-Carlos Condit vs. Josh Koscheck
-Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier
-Edwin Figueroa vs. Alex Caceres
-Rafel Natal vs. Michael Kuiper