UFC 128: Joseph Benavidez vs Ian Loveland booked for March 19 in New Jersey

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A bantamweight bout is set for "The Shore" as former WEC 135-pound number one contender Joseph Benavidez will throw leather with Ian Loveland at UFC 128 on March 19 in Newark, New Jersey.

The promotion announced the contest earlier today.

Benavidez has just two losses in his budding career, both to current division champion Dominick Cruz. A move to the UFC, while not only providing new scenery, also sets the tone for the Team Alpha Male fighter to work his way back to an eventual third fight with the "Dominator."

It will be a tough task but "Joe-Jitsu" has his mat game on point, with his last two wins coming via guillotine choke, and his opponent having dropped six of his seven career losses via submission.

In the beginning stages of his career, Ian Loveland was the very definition of mediocrity. The Team Quest member struggled to a 7-7 record, but not one of his fights went to the judges scorecards.

That streak would end with win number eight of his career but he's not lost since then, including a short notice unanimous decision win over Tyler Toner in his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale back in December of last year (2010).

"The Barn Owl" usually fights at featherweight while Benavidez is in the bantamweight division. It is expected Loveland will drop down to 135-pounds for this fight.

UFC 128 was recently made official for the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The main event is the long-awaited light-heavyweight title fight pitting champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs challenger "Suga" Rashad Evans.

Stay tuned to MMAMania.com for more on this still-developing fight card.

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