We've got ourselves a pair of new fights scheduled for UFC 170. The February 22nd PPV event has an important Bantamweight bout as well as a possible FOTN candidate between two young Welterweights. As announced earlier today by the UFC, Francisco Rivera will fight Raphael Assuncao, while Stephen Thompson takes on Robert Whittaker at welterweight.
Rivera (10-2, 1 NC) is undefeated in his 2nd run with the UFC. He's undefeated in his last 6 (with 4 of them in the UFC), although his win against Roland Delorme was flipped to a no contest after he tested positive for a banned substance. His KO power was most recently felt by George Roop at UFC Fight For the Troops 3 in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Assuncao (21-4) is 5-0 at bantamweight after dropping his UFC debut (at featherweight) to Erik Koch. The Brazilian won FOTN honors against T.J. Dillashaw en route to a split decision victory.
Thompson (8-1) had the hype machine behind him after his head kick KO of Dan Stittgen in his UFC debut, but then came crashing down to Earth when he lost to Matt Brown. A decision win over Nah-Shon Burrell at UFC 160 was followed up with an impressive KO of Chris Clements at UFC 165. Whittaker (11-3) is the welterweight TUF: Smashes champion out of Australia who TKO'd TUF 16 winner Colton Smith at UFC 160 but fell short against TUF 11 winner Court McGee. The 23-year-old was removed from the recent UFC Fight Night 33 card in Brisbane after his opponent Brian Melancon withdrew (and subsequently retired) due to renal stress.