Thiago Tavares drops to featherweight, meets Zubair Tuhugov at UFC Fight Night 36

Copyright: Martin McNeil

The Russian invasion continues ... but before Zubair Tuhugov can conquer the states, he must first get out of Brazil in one piece.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has added an interesting featherweight battle to its upcoming UFC Fight Night 36: "Machida vs. Mousasi" fight card, scheduled for Saturday, February 15, 2014 on FOX Sports 1 from Arena Jaragua in Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Interesting in that it marks the first appearance for Thiago Tavares at 145 pounds.

The Brazilian has 14 fights under the ZUFFA banner as a lightweight with mixed results. Despite a quick submission win over Justin Salas just last month, his chances at making a run for the title were derailed when Khabib Nurmagomedov blew him out of the water back in January.

Time to start fresh in a new division.

Waiting to meet him, according to Combate, is 22 year-old Moscow import Zubair Tuhugov, who will be making his Octagon debut after compiling a 15-3 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record on the international circuit, one that includes five wins by way of knockout/technical knockout.

Early predictions?

UFC Fight Night 36 will be headlined by a middleweight main event pitting former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida opposite ex-Strikeforce 205-pound titleholder Gegard Mousasi. In the co-main event, Ronaldo Souza takes one step closer to a division title shot at the expense of Francis Carmont.

To see the current UFC Fight Night 36 fight card and rumors click here. News, notes and other items of interest for "Machida vs. Mousasi" click here.

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