Elite wrestler and heavy-handed Aaron Simpson (8-2, 4-2 UFC) was expected to meet Jason "Mayhem" Miller in his return to the UFC, but TUF came calling and undefeated Brad Tavares (7-0, 2-0 UFC) stepped in to take his place. This middleweight UFC 132 bout will take place on the preliminary card and will be streamed live on Facebook. The Facebook stream begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Simpson: 36 years old | 6'0" | 73" reach
Tavares: 23 years old | 6'1" | 74" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Aaron "A-Train" Simpson started his Zuffa career in the WEC, where his 18 second knockout of David Avellan at WEC 36 made quite an impression. Once the WEC middleweight fighters were absorbed into the UFC Simpson carried on winning, taking three victories in a row over increasingly strong competition. He finally met his match at the The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale though, and his name was Chris Leben. Leben handed Simpson his first career loss via TKO, and Simpson also dropped his next matchup against good friend and fellow wrestler Mark Munoz. He was able to rebound with a decision win over Mario Miranda, and enters this fight looking for another win to get back into the mix at middleweight with a win at UFC 132.
Brad Tavares started out in his home state of Hawaii, winning a few fights before getting the invite to be a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 11. He advanced to the semi-finals, but ended up getting submitted by the eventual winner Court McGee. He faced Seth Baczynski at the TUF 11 Finale in a rematch from the show where Seth was disqualified after an illegal soccer kick. Tavares took the decision win, then defeated Phil Baroni via TKO at UFC 125 to cement his place in the UFC. As mentioned above, he came into this fight as a late replacement for Jason "Mayhem" Miller.
Why should you care?
It might not have the allure of Simpson vs. Mayhem, but Tavares brings some heavy hands and some Hawaiian toughness into the cage and it might turn out to be a good fight. Maybe.