The card continues to grow for UFC 99 in Germany, as Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares will return for a middleweight match-up against American Top Team fighter Alessio Sakara. The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Monday by sources close to the fight.
Palhares, who currently holds a 2-1 record in the Octagon, comes into UFC 99 after a three-round domination of veteran fighter Jeremy Horn in Ireland in January.
With his only loss coming by way of decision to former Pride champion Dan Henderson, Palhares is seen as a tough competitor for anybody in the UFC. He adds another dangerous jiu-jitsu element to the expanding middleweight division.
Sakara was originally set to face Alan Belcher on the UFC 99 card, but his opponent instead opted for a bout at UFC 100 against incoming Japanese fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama.
Now the heavy-handed Italian will face Palhares in a pivotal match-up for his career. He stands at 4-4 in the UFC and wins are the only guarantee to make certain of a return call from the MMA juggernaught.
The bout between Sakara and Palhares will likely end up on the untelevised, undercard portion of the pay-per-view broadcast. A 195-pound catchweight fight between Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva headlines the UFC 99 fight card.