I think it's safe to say at this point that the UFC's proclamation that it would be cutting 100 fighters this year was all smoke and no fire. In fact the UFC roster is 18 fighters larger than it was just 3 months ago. While the UFC has indeed cut a few large groups of fighters this year (I'd estimate maybe 40 people in total) it hasn't come anywhere close to the mass releases that were promised. In fact I'd say it's been a year more about roster growth than anything else, with the majority of Strikeforce signees still on the roster and a host of TUF contestants and fresh prospects added as well.
In that vein Combate reports that the UFC has now added another two young fighters to its lightweight ranks. Alan Patrick and Garett Whiteley have been signed and are set to face off at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields on October 9 in Barueri, Brazil. Patrick or "Nuguette" as he is known in Brazil is the current Bitetti Combat lightweight champion. At somewhere between 27-30 years old (depending on what fight you watch) and undeafeated at 10-0 he appears to be a very solid athletic prospect. His size, at 5'11" means that he should be well suited to the athletes he'll face in the UFC and won't be forced down a division like many promotional newcomers. Unfortunately while his size and athleticism are great he's fairly underpolished as a fighter. He's primarily a wrestler and while not a bad one seems to rely more on brute strength than practiced technique. His striking is wild and aggressive and while he has some submission grappling experience he doesn't appear to be a dominant finisher.
While Nuguette is something of a grinder, Garett Whiteley has shown himself to be a dynamic finisher on the regional scene. A large lightweight, at 6' 0" he sports 7-0 record (from what I can tell) with his biggest wins being over Evan DeLong (12-7) and Jason Gilliam (14-5). All of his wins are by stoppage with six inside the first round. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to get a bead on where Whiteley is at this point in his development as his fights are all at the extreme regional level. He looks like a strong, big lightweight and trains under Pat McPherson alongside former UFC standout Chris Lytle. He's a Carlson Gracie blue belt under Alan Stockman so it should be interesting to see the mix of skills he brings with him to the UFC.
Essentially both of these fighters appear to be incredibly raw talents. Nuguette has experienced a bit more of the spotlight fighting under Jungle Fight and Bitetti Combat and earning a belt under the latter. Given his wrestling top game I would expect him to have an advantage here, but his striking is raw enough that this is really anyone's fight. UFC fight Night 29 takes place on October 9th in Barueri, Brazil. Here's a look at the card so far:
Demian Maia vs. Jake Shields
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Erick Silva
Rony Jason vs. Jeremy Stephens
Matt Hamill vs. Thiago Silva
Joey Beltran vs. Fabio Maldonado
Raphael Assuncao vs. T.J. Dillashaw
Rodrigo Damm vs. Hacran Dias
Chris Cariaso vs. Iliarde Santos
Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Pierce
Allan Patrick vs. Garett Whiteley
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