Three new contests have been added to the burgeoning UFC 162 fight bill.
UFC officials Wednesday announced that Mark Munoz will return to the Octagon at the July 6 event to face Tim Boetsch, while former Strikeforce talents Tim Kennedy and Roger Gracie do battle in their UFC debuts. Onetime Strikeforce light heavyweight king Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante will also see action that night, squaring off with the hard-punching Thiago Silva.
UFC 162 takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a middleweight title tilt pitting reigning champion Anderson Silva against unbeaten prospect Chris Weidman. The evening’s main card airs live on pay-per-view, while the undercard will be broadcast on FX and streamed on Facebook.
Munoz, 35, has not competed since suffering a knockout defeat to Weidman last July in a setback that snapped a four-fight winning streak. Three years younger than his foe, Boetsch also watched a four-fight winning streak vanish in his most recent outing, as “The Barbarian” was stopped by Costas Philippou on Dec. 29 at UFC 155.
Kennedy, 33, posted a 6-2 record during his time with Strikeforce and twice challenged for the middleweight title. Most recently, the IFL vet earned a third-round submission victory over Trevor Smith at Strikeforce’s final show. That Jan. 12 event also saw Gracie choke out Anthony Smith to earn his fifth career submission victory. A former World Jiu-Jitsu Championship and ADCC champion, Gracie has posted wins over Smith and Keith Jardine since making the cut to middleweight last year.
Cavalcante, 32, will compete for the first time since since his 33-second technical knockout of Mike Kyle was changed to a no-contest by the California State Athletic Commission. The CSAC also suspended “Feijao” for a year after the fighter’s post-fight drug test came back positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. Silva, meanwhile, returns from a six-month suspension after testing positive for marijuana metabolites at UFC on Fuel TV 6. The light heavyweight was previously suspended in 2011 after falsifying a urine sample in Nevada.