Your eyes are not deceiving you, Brian Bowles (10-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is in a UFC fight once again. The former WEC bantamweight champion will face George Roop (13-9-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) on the Facebook portion of the UFC 160 preliminary card tonight from Las Vegas, Nevada. Roop is not ranked, but Bowles is at #8 in the UFC's official list.
This is Bowles' first fight since November 2011, and he's in search of his first win since July 2011. Roop is competing at 135 lbs for just the 3rd time in his career. The Facebook prelims start at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT and lead into the FX broadcast of the remaining prelims at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Bowles: 32 years old | 5'7" | 70.5" reach
Roop: 31 years old | 6'1" | 73" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Bowles' career has been greatly affected by injuries, particularly his frequently broken hands. Brian lost his WEC title to Dominick Cruz via TKO (injury) after he broke his hand during their title fight. His time in the UFC has been limited to just 3 fights, with wins over Takeya Mizugaki and Damacio Page and a submission loss to Urijah Faber, which currently stands as his last fight in the octagon. After months upon months of rehab and self-reflection, Bowles is back in business and trying to work his way to the top of 135 lbs once more.
Roop's greatest moment in either the UFC or WEC is unquestionably his head kick KO of current FW contender Chan Sung Jung. Unfortunately for the tall and lanky veteran, consistent success has been a major problem for him, and it's put his UFC job at risk. Roop was released from the UFC once before as a lightweight, and when he returned at FW he only won 1 of his 4 fights while losing by KO in 2 of his 3 losses. After a KO loss to Cub Swanson, Roop dropped to bantamweight and edged out Reuben Duran at UFC 158 to snap his two fight losing streak.
Why should you care?
It's good to see Bowles back in the octagon after such a prolonged absence from the sport. He's still ranked in the top 10 so he needs to justify his spot nearly 2 years since his last win.