The first middleweight matchup for UFC on Fuel 9 in Sweden has apparently been made. Swedish MMA website Kimura.se reports that TUF 8 alumnus Tom Lawlor will fight young Dutchman Michael Kuiper on the April 6th card in Stockholm. UFC officials have not confirmed the news yet.
Lawlor is coming off an ugly split decision loss to Francis Carmont at UFC 154 in Montreal. That loss offset his KO win over Jason McDonald in May, and dropped his UFC record to 4-4. Provided he doesn't get injured or is forced to withdraw from the fight for other reasons, this will be Lawlor's first fight outside of North America.
Kuiper has been snake-bitten by the injury bug ... only he's the one that's healthy. Thiago Perpetuo, Caio Magalhaes, Buddy Roberts, and Josh Janousek were all set to fight Kuiper at either UFC on FX 7 or UFC on FOX 6 over the course of several weeks, but all of them withdrew due to injury. It left Kuiper without a fight, and now he's being rebooked for the Sweden card. The 23-year-old is 1-1 in the UFC and most recently TKOed Jared Hamman at UFC 150.
We've spent almost the entire weekend announcing new fights for UFC on Fuel: Gustafsson vs. Mousasi, so it's no surprise that we're now up to 11 reported and/or confirmed bouts for the event. It is unknown whether this fight -- if confirmed -- will be on the Fuel TV main card or on the Facebook prelims.