The hard-hitting Francisco Rivera has his sights set on the bantamweight top 10. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Two new bouts have been added to the UFC 170 fight bill, as Francisco Rivera meets Raphael Assuncao at bantamweight and Stephen Thompson battles Robert Whittaker at 170 pounds.
UFC officials recently announced both fights, which take place Feb. 22 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. UFC 170 airs live on pay-per-view and is headlined by a light heavyweight showdown between Rashad Evans and Daniel Cormier.
Rivera rides back-to-back victories into his clash with Assuncao, knocking out Edwin Figueroa to kick off 2013 before doing the same to George Roop last month at UFC Fight Night 31.
Assuncao, meanwhile, has won five consecutive fights, most recently scoring a split decision victory over T.J. Dillashaw on home soil at UFC Fight Night 29.
Formerly a decorated kickboxer, Thompson has gone 3-1 since joining the UFC last year. “Wonderboy” was last seen at September’s UFC 165, where he knocked out Chris Clements in the second round.
Whittaker introduced himself to UFC fans last year as a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes,” winning the show’s welterweight bracket with a unanimous decision win over Brad Scott. The Aussie suffered his first Octagon setback in his last outing, however, as the 22-year-old dropped a split verdict to Court McGee this past August.