The UFC continues it's rapid acquisition of fighters, having signed 12 fighters in the last month alone. UOL Esporte reported the most recent signing; Brazilian welterweight, and former TUF 16 competitor, Igor Araujo. The Ultimate Fighter 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson was among the worst rated seasons in the show's long history. The poor ratings were reflected in the incredibly low number of fighters retained by the UFC of which only Colton Smith, Neil Magny, and Mike Ricci remain. Araujo made it to the quarterfinals of the season where he lost a unanimous decision to eventual tournament champion Smith. Since his time on the show he's only fought once, winning a unanimous five-round decision over Nic Herron-Webb (who he defeated by majority decision in the opening round of TUF 16).
If his TUF performances were underwhelming however, the rest of his MMA career has been anything but. At 32 he's a 30 fight veteran with a record of 23-6 (1 NC). His only loss in the past 5 years is to current M-1 welterweight champ Rashid Magomedov back in 2010. He's currently riding a 4 fight win streak with three of those victories coming by submission. Unfortunately, despite his many successes his resume is short on big name wins with his most notable victories being over Vener Galiev and Michele Verginelli. Every time Araujo has stepped up to face top level competition he's struggled.
It will be interesting then, to see how he does against Ildemar Alcantara. Some had high hopes for Alcantara after he submitted Wagner Prado at light heavyweight and then made the drop to welterweight. He has a huge frame for his current division, but has yet to put any real polish on his skills. His fight against Leandro Silva was a disappointment which resulted in the two fighters engaging in a poor kickboxing match to give Alcantara the decision victory. Honestly, given Alcantara's size and strength, and Araujo's fairly one-dimensional skill set, I expect this fight to be much the same. Alcantara should be able to shuck takedown attempts and keep Araujo at range. If Araujo wants to win he'll have to be incredibly aggressive.
UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields takes place on October 9th in Barueri, Brazil. Here's a look at the card:
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
Ildemar Alcantara vs. Igor Araujo
Yan Cabral vs. David Mitchell
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