The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 7 alum Matt Riddle (3-1) has been added to the preliminary card of the upcoming UFC 111 event opposite Ricardo Funch (7-1) for the promtion's return trip to The Prudential Center on March 27 in Newark, NJ.
Team Link instructor Marco Alvan confirmed the bout earlier today.
During the Spike TV reality show, Riddle immediately made a name for himself by turning Dan Simmler inside-out via crushing knockout. It was a highlight reel finish that propelled him into the next round; however, his inexperience was exposed after getting submitted by eventual finalist, Tim Credeur.
Unfazed, Riddle found success inside the Octagon early and often, winning three out of his first four UFC fights since his professional debut at TUF 7 Finale, a unanimous decision win over rival house member Dante Rivera.
He followed that up with judge's nods over Steve Bruno (Fight Night 17) and Dan Cramer (UFC 101) before Nick Osipzcak put a violent end to his hot streak via technical knockout at UFC 105 last November.
Like his run in the TUF house, he now has a chance to rebound on March 27 and get back to his winning ways.
Standing in his way is "The Golden Boy," who like Riddle, didn't have the outcome he was hoping for in his last fight.
Funch's UFC dream began while watching the legendary Royce Gracie effortlessly dominate the competition in early days of the sport with his unique brand of jiu-jitsu. He began to train locally and his since earned his purple belt while training at Team Link, which is run by former number one heavyweight contender, Gabriel Gonzaga.
Remarkably, he's been able to do it all in just four years of training.
His connections at Team Link helped fast-track him to a four-fight contract in the welterweight division with a UFC 107 debut opposite Johnny Hendricks. Unfortunately the wrestling phenom spoiled the Brazilian's debut, outworking him en route to a unanimous decision win just last month.
The defeat snapped an impressive seven-fight winning streak, one Funch hopes to begin anew come March 27.
UFC 111 will feature a 170-pound title defense by promotion superstar Georges St. Pierre as "Rush" answers the call of British striker Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy. Heavyweights Frank Mir and Shane Carwin are also set to collide in an interim title match while Brock Lesnar recovers from recent surgery.
To check out the latest UFC 111 fight card and rumors click here.