The UFC announced two important bits of news today concerning their upcoming UFC 149 card Calgary on July 21st. Most significantly, one of the top-ranked bantamweights outside of the UFC umbrella has finally signed with the promotion: dangerous BJJ black belt, and reigning DREAM bantamweight GP winner, Bibiano Fernandes. Fernandes will make his debut in Calgary against TUF alum, Roland Delorme, a Canadian native who's riding a two-fight winning streak in his post-TUF UFC career:
In more UFC 149 news, highly-touted Bibiano Fernandes is joining the growing line for a crack at the UFC bantamweight title, and his first test inside the Octagon will be against Canadian prospect Roland Delorme.
Many fans had been clamoring for Fernandes to sign a UFC deal as there was little top-level competition left for him outside of the UFC. After winning the DREAM featherweight championship in 2010, only to drop the title to Hiroyuki Takaya via split decision, "The Flash" moved down to 135 lbs and ran through the tournament field again, this time taking the bantamweight title. Fernandes's only other two career losses came against current UFC fighters: Urijah Faber and Norifumi Yamamoto.
Despite losing to eventual finalist, T.J. Dillashaw in the quarterfinals of TUF Season 14, Roland Delorme's slick grappling earned him a spot on the season finale, which he took advantage of by submitting Josh Ferguson. Delorme then came into a bout against veteran, Nick Denis, last month as a heavy underdog, and survived some heavy leather early on, only to come back and rock Denis, and then choke him out with just one second remaining in the round.
The other announcement made by the UFC was that a replacement has been found for Thiago Alves, and now taking on Siyar Bahadurzada in a welterweight bout, will be Canadian knockout artist, Chris Clements:
Stepping in to the welterweight bout in Alves' place is Chris Clements, a striker from London, Ontario, Canada, who won his UFC debut at UFC 145 in April.
Clements, a student of the late Shawn Tompkins, and training partner of Mark Hominick and Sam Stout, had been making waves on the Canadian regional scene for some time with his heavy hands and diverse striking game, when the UFC finally came calling for a fight against fellow veteran, Keith Wisniewski, at UFC 145. Although Clements won by split decision, the first decision of his career, the Canadian impressed the UFC brass with his exciting style and solid conditioning, and it was enough for them to give him the call to fill in on short notice against a fellow knockout specialist, in Bahadurzada.