The UFC is pulling out the Brazilian firepower ahead of UFC on FX 8, which takes place in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil on May 18 at Arena Jaragua. It was announced today that Paulo Thiago will be taking on Lance Benoist in what will likely be a do or die match for both fighters. Thiago started off great in his UFC career by knocking out Josh Koscheck in his debut, but now has only won once in his last five bouts. Benoist picked up a win over recent UFC exile Matthew Riddle in his debut, but has lost his last two matches. Whoever losses this bout will likely walk out of the Octagon for the last time.
A flyweight bout was announced for the card as well. This match takes place between Azamat Gashimov and John Lineker. Gashimov lost his Octagon debut to Ivan Menjivar by first-round armbar back in November of last year. That fight was at bantamweight, but he will be dropping down to 125 for this match. So far in his UFC career, Lineker has gone 1-1 with a loss to Louis Gaudinot and a win over Yasuhiro Urushitani last November in China. Flyweight is a very small division, so exciting wins can do a lot for either of these fighters’ careers.
Lastly, a lightweight match between Evan Dunham and Rafael dos Anjos has been scheduled for the card. Dunham was thought to be the next big thing at lightweight through his first five fights, but a knockout loss to Melvin Guillard took a lot of his hype away. Since that loss, he has slowly built back up to a 3-1 record in his last four fights, with his only loss coming to top contender TJ Grant. Dos Anjos finds himself on an even better streak after going 7-2 through his last nine bouts. Both of those losses were close. One was a split-decision loss, and the other was to Clay Guida in a fight Dos Anjos was winning but had to stop because of a jaw injury.