BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 22: (L-R) Opponents Delson Heleno and Francisco Drinaldo face off during the UFC 147 weigh in at EstÃ¡dio Jornalista Felipe Drummond on June 22, 2012 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
TUF: Brazil competitor and former Jungle Fights champion Francisco Drinaldo is making a return to his natural weight class. The man they call "Massaranduba" fought on the show as a middleweight, including in the season finale at UFC 147, is dropping back to lightweight for a scheduled fight at UFC 153 against an opponent TBA (via Tatame):
Francisco Drinaldo "Massaranduba" became one of the most popular fighters at TUF Brazil, and the UFC wants to use that for their next show in Brazil. After a dominant and fast win over Delson Heleno at UFC 147, as a middleweight, "Massaranduba" will return to lightweight division at UFC 153, next show planned for Rio de Janeiro, on October 13th.
Massaranduba won his first fight on TUF: Brazil by TKO only to be eliminated in the quarterfinals by Thiago Bodao. He is essentially the Brazilian version of Kenny Florian in the context of fighting two weight classes above his norm just to get on TUF, but inevitably dropping down at his first opportunity. Unlike Florian's drop at the time, he does have the immediate option to return to 155 and now he becomes the 3rd fighter from TUF: Brazil and the 6th TUFer overall scheduled for the UFC's 3rd show in Brazil in 2012.
After the jump, the current UFC 153 card.
Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch (for UFC Featherweight Championship)
Alan Belcher vs. Vitor Belfort
Quinton Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira
Reza Madadi vs. Cristiano Marcello
Rony Mariano Bezerra vs. Sam Sicilia
Renee Forte vs. Sergio Moraes
Cezar Ferreira vs. TBA
Francisco Drinaldo vs. TBA