Two veterans of the now-defunct Strikeforce organization will make their Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debuts against one another as Tim Kennedy and Roger Gracie have agreed to tussle in a middleweight bout at UFC on FX 8 on May 18, 2013, in Brazil.
Both fighters were successful during their tenures under the Strikeforce banner; Kennedy compiled a 4-2 record with the organization while Gracie went 4-1 inside the Hexagon.
Brazilian news outlet TATAME first reported news of the 185-pound contest; however, UFC officials have yet to formally announce the match up for the event.
Kennedy (15-4) is a two-time Strikeforce middleweight title challenge, but came up short to Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza in his opportunities. The 33-year-old is one of the most outspoken fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) today and brings career wins over names such as Trevor Prangley, Melvin Manhoef and Robbie Lawler to the Octagon.
The former Army Staff Sergeant has earned eight of his 15 career victories by way of submission, but facing a Gracie he may want to try strike and pick up his sixth career (technical) knockout win instead.
Gracie (6-1) will be the fourth Gracie to step foot inside the Octagon when he makes his debut, and the first since Renzo Gracie, who lost to Matt Hughes back at UFC 112 in April 2010.
While his name outshines his accomplishments in MMA, the 31-year-old has already made serious strides in his short time in the sport, having fought and defeated some tough veterans such as Kevin Randleman and Keith Jardine.
Kennedy vs. Gracie will likely take place on the televised portion of the UFC on FX 8 fight card, which airs on FX. The preliminary portion of the card will likely be broadcasted on Facebook and FUEL TV.
UFC on FX 8: "Belfort vs. Rockhold" goes down May 18, 2013, at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. The event headliner will see Vitor Belfort welcome Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold to the organization in a five-round contest. Also on the undercard, Constantinos Philippou and Ronaldo Souza have agreed to tangle.