The proposed roster for UFC 121 has just gotten a heck of a lot deeper after Paulo Thiago submitted his bout agreement to face Diego Sanchez in October 23rd event. The talented youngsters will meet in a critical welterweight affair inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
“He’s a tough fighter and he’s in the same situation as me, coming from a loss,” Tatame.com. “It’ll be a tough fight, we both want to keep our jobs.”
With a possible shot at champion Georges St-Pierre on the line, Thiago found himself on the wrong end of a lopsided unanimous decision when the Brazilian was dominated by Martin Kampmann at UFC 115 this past June. The jiu jitsu specialist holds an impressive 13-2 record and told the website he will be honing his striking skills with Brazilian amigo Anderson Silva for this pivotal contest.
“Diego is a real warrior, he doesn’t give up and he’s also really tough on the ground. Besides his aggressiveness, he’s also very technical on the ground, he trained for a long time with Saulo and Xande Ribeiro,” Thiago added. “And he’s left-handed. To train [for a] left-handed [opponent] is always a hard thing. We’ve studied his game and set a strategy.”
Despite owning a 21-4 resume, there haven’t been too many YES! Cartwheels coming from Sanchez of late. The eccentric one has dropped two consecutive bouts, with the prior coming in a gutty lightweight title loss to then-champion BJ Penn at UFC 107 and the latter via landslide unanimous decision to John Hathaway at UFC 114 in a 170-pound affair.
Cain Velasquez will challenge heavyweight king Brock Lesnar for his crown in the night’s featured attraction. Jake Shields is also expected to make his Octagon debut when he meets the aforementioned Kampmann.
Here are the fighters rumored/expected to participate in the show:
Sam Stout vs. Paul Taylor
Court McGee vs. Ryan Jensen
Diego Sanchez vs. Paulo Thiago
Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Shields
Cain Velasquez vs. Brock Lesnar (UFC Heavyweight Champion)