Top UFC welterweight contender Tarec Saffiedine joins Evolve MMA fight team

Suhaimi Abdullah

Evolve MMA appears to be "Sponge" worthy.

The last man to hold the Strikeforce welterweight championship, Tarec Saffiedine, is the latest fighter to join the Evolve MMA fight team. The 27-year-old striker, who recently made a successful UFC debut against Hyun Gyu Lim, will conduct all future training camps at the Singapore-based facility.

Evolve MMA has the reputation of being the best training center in Asia and is rapidly putting together a fight team to rival the top camps in the US. Among Saffiedine's new team mates will be Ben Askren, meaning that the most recent 170-pound champions from both Bellator and Strikeforce will potentially be training together.

Saffiedine's next fight is set for UFC 172 and he will be taking on Jake Ellenberger (details), the opponent he was originally supposed to face in the main event of UFC Fight Night 34, before a training injury saw the American pull out and be replaced by Lim.

"The Sponge" boasted a 7-1 Strikeforce record before the organization's roster was absorbed by the UFC and could put himself in immediate contention for a shot at the 170-pound title with a win over Ellenberger. The vacant belt will be contested by Robbie Lawler and Johny Hendricks in the main event of UFC 171.

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