Lightweights agree to meet on August card
One of the UFC's most longstanding veterans has a spot on an anniversary card of sorts this summer.
Dennis Hallman, who made his UFC debut at UFC 29 in December 2000, will meet Thiago Tavares at UFC 150 – site of the first two Ultimate Fighting Championship events. Sherdog first reported news of the bout, which will take place at lightweight.
UFC 150 will take place on Aug. 11 at the Pepsi Center and will be the UFC's fifth trip to Denver proper and seventh to the Denver metro area. Denver was the location of UFC 1 and UFC 2 nearly 20 years ago, then UFC: The Ultimate Ultimate in 1995. Last September, the UFC played the Pepsi Center for the first time with UFC 135, headlined by a light heavyweight title defense for Jon Jones against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. The UFC has also made two Fight Night trips to the north Denver suburb of Broomfield, Colo.
Hallman (51-14-2, 1 NC, 4-5 UFC) is 3-1 since coming back to the UFC in 2010. At UFC 140 in December, he dropped from welterweight to lightweight – but missed weight for a fight against John Makdessi and had to give up 20 percent of his purse. He went on to win with a first-round rear naked choke, getting back in the win column after a first-round TKO loss to Brian Ebersole at UFC 133 last August.
Hallman was expected to face Tony Ferguson at this week's UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller event in New Jersey, but he had to pull out of the fight with an injury. Ironically, he was replaced by Tavares – who also had to pull out with an injury. Ferguson now meets Michael Johnson on the preliminary card, and the UFC matched Hallman and Tavares up for the August show.
Tavares (17–4–1, 7-4-1 UFC) is coming off a January unanimous decision win over Sam Stout at UFC 142 in his native Brazil. Prior to that, he submitted Spencer Fisher at UFC 134, also in front of his countrymen in Brazil. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has three Fight of the Night bonuses in his career – but all three have come in losses.