Brian Bowles Returns to Octagon After Long Absence, Faces George Roop at UFC 160

Scott HarrisMMA Lead WriterMarch 28, 2013

Photo credit: Twitter
Photo credit: Twitter

Popular bantamweight Brian Bowles will re-enter the UFC Octagon in May after an 18-month absence.

According to a report from, Bowles (10-2), a former champion in the defunct WEC, will face George Roop on May 25 at UFC 160

Bowles, now 32, has been on a mysterious hiatus since a November 2011 loss to Urijah Faber at UFC 139. He captured the WEC championship in 2009 with an upset of Miguel Torres but lost the belt in his first defense, though the loss came to current lineal UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz. 

Bowles moved to the UFC after the WEC folded and has gone 2-1 thus far in the promotion.

Bowles is well known to fans for a hard-charging but balanced fighting style, which has netted him three career wins by knockout and six by submission. Only one of his 12 pro fights went the distance.

On March 16, Roop won his debut in the UFC's 135-pound division, a decision victory over Reuben Duran at UFC 158. At 6'1", Roop is one of the tallest fighters, if not the tallest, in the bantamweight division.

In 2008, Roop competed as a lightweight on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he lost in the semifinals to Philippe Nover. After his stint on the reality show, he went 1-2 in the UFC and was released from the promotion. He then dropped to featherweight and most recently to bantamweight. 

Interestingly, Roop is the last man to defeat "Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung, now considered one of the world's top featherweights. The win took place in 2010 by TKO at WEC 51.

Taking place over Memorial Day weekend, the packed UFC 160 card will be headlined by Cain Velasquez's heavyweight title defense against Antonio Silva. In the co-main event, hard-hitting heavyweights Junior dos Santos and Mark Hunt will square off.