A meeting between surging bantamweights has been set for the UFC’s February card in Las Vegas.
Raphael Assuncao (21-4 MMA, 5-1 UFC) will take on Francisco Rivera (10-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) at UFC 170. UFC officials announced the new fight booking on Wednesday afternoon.
UFC 170 takes place Feb. 22 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The main card, featuring a headliner between Rashad Evans and Daniel Cormier, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and MMAjunkie.
Assuncao has won five straight fights since dropping from featherweight to 135 pounds in 2011. That move followed a knockout loss to Erik Koch in his UFC debut at UFC 128 after moving over from the UFC. The move to bantamweight has proven to be a good one for the Georgia-based Brazilian, who has a trio of decision wins and a pair of stoppages in his current run. In October in Brazil, he picked up a “Fight of the Night” split-decision victory over T.J. Dillashaw.
Rivera has found mostly success since dropping to bantamweight, as well. Although he lost his debut in the weight class at the TUF 13 Finale in 2011, he has gone 5-0 with a no-contest since then. The no-contest came after a win over Roland Delorme at UFC 149, but Rivera tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended by the UFC. After returning, he has won back-to-back fights by TKO over Edwin Figueroa and George Roop.
Assucao is ranked No. 7, while Rivera is an Honorable Mention in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings.
With the addition, the UFC 170 card now includes:
Daniel Cormier vs. Rashad Evans
Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rustam Khabilov
Mike Pyle vs. T.J. Waldburger
Raphael Assuncao vs. Francisco Rivera