Shortly after his girlfriend Miesha Tate lost to Ronda Rousey at last weekend’s UFC 168, UFC bantamweight Bryan Caraway is set to return to the cage. Missing from action since his win over fellow TUF competitor Johnny Bedford at April’s UFC 159, Caraway has been booked to fight surging 135-pound prospect Lucas Martins at UFC 170 on February 22.
Caraway locked up “Submission of the Night” for his efforts, but it wasn’t without controversy. Caraway was only awarded the bonus after original winner Pat Healy had it stripped after failing the drug screen for marijuana. Caraway drew some heat for adding insult to injury by trashing Healy’s recreational use of the grass.
Caraway had been occupied for the latter half of 2013 as a member of Tate’s coaching staff on TUF 18, but with ‘Cupcake’ in a sort of women’s bantamweight purgatory after losing to the top two contenders, it’s time for Caraway to shift the focus to his own fighting career.
And he’ll face no easy task in doing so.
Martins has looked like a buzz saw as of late, knocking out Jeremy Larsen at UFC on FX 8 in May and submitting Junior Hernandez at UFC Fight Night 28 in early September. The wins righted the ship after Martins was thrown to the wolves against Edson Barboza in his UFC debut at lightweight.
Martins has since made a drastic cut down to 135 pounds and looks to have gained a decided power advantage in the process. He’s an absolutely huge bantamweight that will provide a tough test for Caraway, who’ll look to use his wrestling to stifle the explosiveness of Martins.
The bout is scheduled to air as part of the preliminary card for UFC 170, an event that is quickly becoming a stacked card. Airing live on pay-per-view from the Mandalay Bay Events center in Las Vegas, the headlining bout features the recently announced women’s bantamweight title showdown between Rousey and No. 4 contender Sara McMann.
In the co-main event, top-ranked heavyweight Daniel Cormier will make his long-awaited debut at 205 pounds against former divisional champion “Suga” Rashad Evans.
Welterweights Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia will also look to get back on track against each other after losing recent bouts to Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields, respectively.
The UFC isn’t slowing down in 2014 after the massive fallout of UFC 168. Who are your early picks to emerge victorious at UFC 170?
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