Maximo Blanco Makes UFC Debut vs. Marcus Brimage at UFC 145

Maximo Blanco (Strikeforce)

Featherweights booked for Atlanta pay-per-view

Four months after announcing he would move from lightweight to featherweight with an expected move to the UFC, Maximo Blanco is set to make his debut with the promotion.

Blanco will drop from 155 pounds to 145 to meet Marcus Brimage at UFC 145, which is scheduled for April 21 in Atlanta. The UFC has announced that verbal agreements are in place for the featherweight fight, which is likely to be a part of the pay-per-view’s preliminary card.

Blanco (8-3-1, 1 NC) is a former King of Pancrase lightweight champion and Sengoku fighter who won six straight bouts before signing with Strikeforce for a fall fight with Pat Healy. But the Venezuelan lost by submission in his first fight outside of Japan. Now he’ll look to get back on track, but in the UFC’s featherweight division.

Brimage (4-1, 1-0 UFC) was a cast member on Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which wrapped up in December. Brimage won his fight to get into the TUF house, but lost to Bryan Caraway in the quarterfinals. He still got to make his official UFC debut on the TUF 14 Finale, though, and responded with a unanimous decision win over Stephen Bass. Notably, Brimage, as a lightweight, was picked to be a member of both Season 8 and Season 9 of TUF, but injuries kept him off the official cast list.

UFC 145 shifted from a March 24 date in Montreal to April 21 in Atlanta when no title fights appeared to be ready for the card, and the bouts booked for Montreal were moved to Atlanta, as well. While there is no confirmed main event for the card, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has said he will be ready to fight in Atlanta should he be called on. And if Rashad Evans gets past Phil Davis on Saturday unscathed, the UFC is likely to book Jones-Evans to headline in Atlanta. An Evans loss or injury delaying his shot at Jones could mean a title fight between Jones and Dan Henderson, UFC president Dana White has said.

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