The UFC’s return to Brazil has added a pivotal middleweight bout between Brad Tavares and Gregory Rodrigues.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that Tavares and Rodrigues will meet at UFC 283, which takes place Jan. 21 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Super Lutas was first to report the booking.
Tavares will look to bounce back from his decision loss to Dricus Du Plessis at July’s UFC 276 event. Prior to that, the 34-year-old picked up back-to-back victories over Antonio Carlos Junior and Omari Ahkmedov. Tavares, who competed on season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter in 2010, is set to make his 22nd octagon appearance.
With consecutive wins, Rodrigues is ready to fight in his native country. “Robocop” stopped Julian Marquez in the first round at June’s UFC Austin event and, most recently, finished Chidi Njokuani in the second round of UFC Vegas 60 earlier this month while overcoming a nasty cut on the bridge of his nose from a brutal knee by Njokuani in the opening stanza.
As of now, there has not been a main event announced for UFC 283.
Guilherme Cruz contributed to this report.