Faber-Wineland, Schaub-Cro Cop Planned For UFC 128More fights are in the works for the upcoming UFC 128 event on March 19th. Former WEC champions Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland are expected to compete in a bantamweight bout on the card, while Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub takes on Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović in heavyweight action.

MMAFighting.com was first to report on the Faber-Wineland matchup, while Fighters Only first listed the Schaub-Filipović bout. Schaub had previously been rumoured to be facing either Stefan Struve or former champ Frank Mir, but neither fight materialised and he will now battle the ex-PRIDE legend.

Faber (24-4-0) impressed in his bantamweight debut in November when he choked out Takeya Mizugaki late in the first round. The former WEC Featherweight Champion had previously dropped bouts to Mike Brown (twice) and Jose Aldo that took him out of the 145-pound title picture. With the recent UFC-WEC merger and Faber’s move to the bantamweight division, he will now look to fight his way to a title shot against UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz, whom Faber defeated in a brief 2007 bout.

Wineland (18-6-1) became the first WEC Bantamweight Champion at WEC 20 in 2006, but lost the title in his first defence against Chase Beebe nearly one year later. He has lost just once in seven fights since, and is coming off of a highlight-reel slam knockout of Ken Stone at WEC 53 earlier this month. The vicious KO sent a message to the rest of the 135-pound division and Wineland will aim to ride the momentum into the Octagon. In his way is Faber, who is also looking to impress in his UFC debut.


Schaub (7-1-0), a former football player, reigned undefeated until the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 10 when he was knocked out by Roy “Big Country” Nelson. The KO loss motivated the Colorado native, however, and he has rebounded with a trio of impressive wins inside the Octagon. After quick stoppage wins over Chase Gormley and Chris “The Crowbar” Tuchscherer, Schaub defeated former title challenger Gabriel “Napão” Gonzaga at UFC 121 in October. The victory vaulted Schaub from prospect status to a potential contender down the line and a win over Filipović would be huge.

Filipović (27-8-2, 1 NC) has encountered tough times in recent years and has not been able to follow up on the momentum from his 2006 PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix win. The Croatian is just 4-4 inside the Octagon and is coming off of a lacklustre fight with Frank Mir that ended with Filipovi&#263 unconscious from a knee late in the third and final round. Prior to that, Filipovi&#263 put together four wins in five fights, but it seems clear that he is no longer the feared striker that he once was. A loss to Schaub could potentially spell the end of Filipovi&#263’s time in the UFC.

UFC 128 is expected to take place on March 19, 2011 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The event will be headlined by a UFC Light Heavyweight bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and “Suga” Rashad Evans.


UFC 128 Fight Card (to date; subject to change):

– Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs “Suga” Rashad Evans (UFC Light Heavyweight Championship)
– Mike “Quicksand” Pyle vs Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeida
– Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub vs Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović
– “The California Kid” Urijah Faber vs Eddie Wineland
– Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino vs Gleison Tibau
– Edson Barboza vs Anthony Njokuani
– Luiz “Banha” Cane vs Karlos “The Terminator” Vemola

*No fights for this card have been officially announced as of yet.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)