The fights are coming in fast and furious this week with the UFC on Thursday confirming two new lightweight bouts for the UFC on Fox 7 fight card slated for April 20 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Keeping with the Strikeforce transfer theme, the UFC on Fox 7 undercard will feature the debuts of Strikeforce imports Roger Bowling and Jorge Masvidal.
Bowling and Masvidal have both been Strikeforce mainstays over the past couple years, although neither, and especially Masvidal, has been able to stay as busy as they’d like. That should change now that they’re under the UFC banner.
Bowling (11-3) is coming off of a loss to Tarec Saffiedine, who recently captured the Strikeforce welterweight title from Nate Marquardt at the promotion’s final event. Not only will he be making his Octagon debut, Bowling will also drop to lightweight for his fight against Anthony Njokuani.
One of the hottest lightweight prospects during his WEC tenure, Njokuani (15-7) has struggled since moving over to the UFC, where his is just 2-3 in the Octagon. Coming off of a loss to Rafael dos Anjos, Njokuani needs a win in a bad way.
Masvidal (23-7) was getting extremely frustrated fighting for Strikeforce. After fighting three times in 2011, he has been in the cage just one time since. His only Strikeforce loss was to lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
Things won’t be easy in the transition, however, as he faces the streaking Tim Means.
Means (18-3-1) is on a nine-fight winning streak, including his first two UFC bouts, defeating Bernardo Magalhaes and Justin Salas. Just as he’ll be a tough test for Masvidal, so will Masvidal be for him.
The Masvidal vs. Means bout will set the path for the victor, as both are strongly considered potential title contenders.
The UFC vs. Strikeforce them at UFC on Fox 7 is set from the top, as UFC lightweight titleholder Benson Henderson squares off with Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez in the main event in San Jose.