Bisping vs Boetsch, Barao vs Hougland Added To UFC 148 CardBritish standout Michael “The Count” Bisping will face rising middleweight star Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch in one of two bouts officially added to UFC 148: “Cruz vs Faber 3” earlier today. The event is scheduled to take place on July 7th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Also confirmed for the card was a bantamweight showdown between Renan “Barao” Pegado and Jeff “Hellbound” Hougland. Barao is unbeaten in 29 fights dating back to a decision defeat in his April 2005 pro debut. Hougland has won nine straight and most recently earned a victory at UFC 132.

Bisping (22-4-0) is coming off of a razor-thin decision defeat to Chael Sonnen at UFC on FOX 2 in January. The setback once again left Bisping just out of reach of a shot at the UFC middleweight title, which he has been striving for since 2009. Though he came up short on the judges’ scorecards against Sonnen, Bisping put on a solid performance against the veteran and some felt that Bisping had done enough to win the fight. He has earned victories in five of his past seven fights and now looks to put untimely losses behind him. A victory over Boetsch in July could propel Bisping right back into the title hunt and a potential fight with Anderson Silva or a rematch with Sonnen.

Boetsch (15-4-0) alternated between wins and losses during his initial stint in the UFC as a light heavyweight. He was subsequently cut from the promotion and fought his way back with three straight wins. At UFC 123, Boetsch was submitted by top prospect Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis. He opted to drop down to 185 pounds and the move has thus far paid dividends. After decision victories over Kendall Grove and Nick Ring, Boetsch faced a tough test in former title challenger Yushin “Thunder” Okami at UFC 144. Down on the scorecards, Boetsch rallied back in the final round and stopped the Japanese standout to move his middleweight record to 3-0.


Barao (28-1-0, 1 NC) is one of the fastest-rising stars in the bantamweight division. The 25-year-old Brazilian is 5-0 under the Zuffa banner, including three straight wins in the UFC Octagon. He followed up on an impressive submission victory over Brad “One Punch” Pickett in November by dispatching of former WEC title challenger Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen at UFC 143. Should he get past Hougland in July, Barao could be the next in line to challenge the winner of the UFC 148 main event.

Hougland (10-4-0) debuted in the UFC as a relative unknown this past July, but he put himself on the map with a Unanimous Decision victory over fellow Octagon newcomer Donny “Eagle Eye” Walker. The Washington native has earned finishes in eight of his ten professional victories, including seven wins by submission. He will enter the bout with Barao as a significant underdog, but an upset victory would immediately elevate Hougland from prospect status to a legitimate contender at 135 pounds.

UFC 148: “Cruz vs Faber 3” takes place on July 7th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is headlined by a UFC Bantamweight Championship trilogy bout between Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz and “The California Kid” Urijah Faber.



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