The interim bantamweight title is on the line this evening in Toronto, and there are several bantamweight bouts on the preliminary card. One of them is between Ivan Menjivar (25-10 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and newcomer Wilson Reis (16-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC), formerly of Bellator.
This was supposed to be a fight between Menjivar and Norifumi Yamamoto, but Kid pulled out with an injury, and Reis, who lost his planned UFC debut because of opponent injury, has stepped in on short notice. You can view this bout plus other prelim action on Fox Sports 1 starting at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT before switching to the PPV broadcast at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Menjivar: 31 years old | 5'6" | 64" reach
Reis: 28 years old | 5'4" | 62" reach
What have these two done lately?
Menjivar: L - Urijah Faber (SUB) | W - Azamat Gashimov (SUB) | L - Mike Easton (UD)
Reis: W - Owen Roddy (SUB) | W - Billy Vaughan (SUB) | W - Cody Stevens (UD)
How did these two get here?
Menjivar has been in the fight game for so long -- not just that, but spanning 4 different weight classes -- that he was Georges St. Pierre's first MMA opponent. To bring this back to present day, Menjivar entered the UFC on the heels of a wild decision loss to Brad Pickett at WEC 53, but the Canadian (by way of El Salvador) won his next 3 fights, including a 1st round TKO of Charlie Valencia at UFC 129. An uninspiring loss to Mike Easton cooled off any hopes of a surprise title run, and after a slick armbar of Azamat Gashimov at UFC 154, Menjivar was handily submitted by Urijah Faber at UFC 157, marking just the 2nd time Menjivar has ever been subbed.
Reis is a BJJ black belt who first gained notoriety in Bellator, where he competed in three different featherweight tournaments, but lost in the semifinals each time. He dropped to bantamweight for season 5 and was viciously KOed in the quarterfinals by current champion Eduardo Dantas. The Brazilian has won his last 4 against regional-level opposition, with 3 of those wins coming by way of submission.
Why should you care?
I think Reis looks like a prime candidate to drop to flyweight, but for now this just looks to be a fight between two guys who are better on the ground than on the feet. It's also a must-win for Menjivar if he wants to be anywhere near the UFC's top 10.