by Adam Martin
The UFC 160 card is officially stacked.
The UFC on Wednesday evening announced two more bouts for its upcoming UFC 160 card, which takes place May 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The two new fights are lightweight matchups of Gray Maynard vs. TJ Grant and Abel Trujilo vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov.
According to the UFC’s official rankings, Maynard, Grant and Nurmagomedov are all top 10 fighters in the lightweight division.
Maynard (11-1-1) is one of the best lightweight fighters in the world but he hasn’t stepped into the Octagon since a controversial split decision victory over Clay Guida back at UFC on FX 4 last June. Maynard is known for his trilogy of fights with Frankie Edgar and has notable victories over Nate Diaz, Jim Miller, Edgar, and Guida. He is one of the best in the world but he’s been injured for a while and he’ll need to shake off the ring rust quickly if he’s able to top the surging Grant.
Grant (20-5) is 4-0 since dropping down to the lightweight division and is coming off a brutal KO win over Matt Wiman at UFC on FOX 6. Since making the cut to 155lbs, Grant has dispatched of Shane Roller, Carlo Prater, Evan Dunham and Wiman and looks to be someone who could be a serious threat for the title. In Maynard he’s taking on the best wrestler he’s ever faced, but if he’s able to stop the takedowns he’ll be in charge on the feet due to his destructive and ever-evolving Muay Thai attack.
Trujilo (10-4) is coming off a surprisingly dominant TKO win over Marcus LeVesseur at UFC on FOX 5. Trujilo was originally set to fight Tim Means on the card, but after Means fell in the sauna cutting weight and knocked himself out, Trujilo fought a completely different opponent in LeVesseur on just 24 hours’ notice and proceeded to destroy him. It was impressive that Trujilo was able to deal with the change in opponents so easily and in such brutal fashion, but Nurmagomedov represents a higher step up in competition for the Blackzilian.
Nurmagomedov (19-0) is one of the brightest young prospects in the UFC lightweight division and has one of the most impressive win streaks in the sport. The Russian has compiled a 3-0 record inside the Octagon thus far with impressive wins over veterans Gleison Tibau, Kamal Shalorus and most recently Thiago Tavares, who Nurmagomedov knocked out with elbows at UFC on FX 7 in January. He is someone who you need to keep an eye on because he’ll be a contender for the 155lb title for many years to come.
UFC 160 is headlined by UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and is co-main evented by Junior dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem. As well, light heavyweights Glover Teixeira and Ryan Bader go to war, and lightweights Donald Cerrone and KJ Noons clash in a bout that has “Fight of the Night” written all over it.
What are your thoughts?