A battle of struggling fighters is leading off the UFC 158 preliminary card tonight, as George Roop (12-9-1 MMA, 2-5 UFC) fights Reuben Duran (8-4-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in the bantamweight division. It is highly likely that the loser of this one is released, and both are coming off brutal KO losses.
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. George Roop, who is 6'1", is once again moving down to 135 lbs. The Facebook prelims start at roughly 6:40 PM ET/3:40 PM PT, and the remainder of the preliminary fights will air on FX from 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Roop: 31 years old | 6'1" | 73" reach
Duran: 29 years old | 5'6" | 71" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Roop's first UFC run came in 2008 as a member of TUF 8. He fought out of his natural weight class at 155 lbs, and after a 1-2 record he was axed. Following one FW win in a regional match, he entered the WEC testing out the 135 lbs waters against Eddie Wineland, losing by decision. That prompted another move to 145 lbs, where he memorably knocked out Chan Sung Jung with a head kick. When the WEC closed its doors, Roop found himself back in the UFC, but he's only 1-3 in his last 4. Tonight's fight will mark his first time in the Octagon in 14 months, and with a loss it will certainly be his last.
All of Reuben Duran's previous fights took place in California, but in 2011 he was given the UFC call-up to replace Francisco Rivera against Takeya Mizugaki. Duran acquitted himself well but lost a split-decision to the Japanese fighter. He got his first UFC win by beating Rivera by submission later in the year. After a 1.5 year layoff, Duran fought TUF Brazil alum Hugo Viana in December 2012, but he was completely overpowered and eventually KO'd at the end of the opening round.
Why should you care?
The loser is gone, plain and simple. They've both shown quality entertainment value in the past and hopefully they don't fight tentatively to avoid making that "pink slip worthy" mistake.