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Wednesday, 12/04/2013, 07:56 am

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Thiago Tavares Drops To Featherweight – Meets Russian Zubair Tuhugov At UFC Fight Night 36

An intriguing matchup has been added to the UFC Fight Night 36 card, as Thiago Tavares will take his first fight at featherweight against newcomer Zubair Tuhugov.

The card will take place in Santa Catarina, Brazil; Combate.com was first to report on the matchup.

Tuhugov is a 22 year-old native of Moscow who makes his UFC debut on a hot streak, winning his last 6 bouts and sporting an impressive overall  professional record of 15-3.

Tavares is 3-1 in his last 4 fights, with his most recent fight ending with a submission win over Justin Salas. As mentioned, this will be Tavares’ first fight at 145, as he looks to make a run for the title at a new weight class.

There’s been no mention as to why he decided to make the move, but one would have to think his first round destruction at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov this past January might have something to do with it. After being out-muscled and knocked out, a fresh start in a smaller division might look quite appealing – so long as he can get through the weight cut without losing too much of his power. Tavares does carry around a decent amount of muscle, so it will be interesting to see how his body reacts to the cut.

Including this yet-to-be-announced matchup, the card is as follows:

• Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi
• Francis Carmont vs. Ronaldo Souza
• Cristiano Marcello vs. Joe Proctor
• Viscardi Andrade vs. Nicholas Musoke
• Andy Ogle vs. Charles Oliveira
• Jesse Ronson vs. Francisco Trinaldo
• Thiago Tavares vs. Zubair Tuhugov

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