The UFC has signed Bellator's middleweight champion in a huge deal that will finally allow Lombard to test himself against the world's best 185-pound fighters. The 34-year-old Lombard has gone undefeated since November 2006, but his competition has been lacking due to a somewhat weak Bellator middleweight roster.
After failing to win back-to-back fights since September 2008, Franklin has decided to return to the middleweight division to potentially end his MMA career. The 37-year-old was once the division's champion, but the middleweight landscape has changed drastically since he last competed at 185 pounds.
Following his deflating loss to Mark Munoz, it was discovered that Leben had tested positive for pain killers. The failed drug screening resulted in a one-year suspension, meaning the 31-year-old will be unable to compete until at least November 2012.
In July 2010, Vemola made his UFC debut as a heavyweight. Now, less than two years later, Vemola is preparing for his 185-pound debut against Mike Massenzio. Considered a large light heavyweight, it will be interesting to see how Vemola handles losing 20 additional pounds.
Injuries have slowed Catone's progression over the past few years, as the 30-year-old has been out of action since his March 2011 win over Costa Philippou. Having fought to a narrow decision with Mark Munoz, Catone has the potential to become a contender if he can remain healthy.
A winner of his first five professional fights, Magalhaes was recently signed by the UFC to fight Buddy Roberts, who will also be making his Octagon debut. The 24-year-old trains at Nova Uniao, home of many other Brazilian prospects.
A solid 11-2 start to his MMA career has given Roberts a chance to prove himself inside the Octagon against Magalhaes at UFC on FX 3. Roberts was previously expected to make his UFC debut against Sean Loeffler, but an injury suffered by Loeffler during pre-fight warm-ups led to the cancellation of the bout.
Wins in 12 of his past 13 fights earned Loeffler a spot in the UFC, where he was expected to debut against Roberts at UFC on Fuel TV 1. However, moments before walking out to the Octagon, Loeffler injured his ankle and was unable to compete.