Fresh from a three-year tear through the European mixed martial arts scene, undefeated Dutch kickboxer Michael Kuiper (11-0) is ready for his Octagon debut. According to reports from Brazilian outlet SporTv, the 22-year-old has agreed to fight veteran middleweight Rafael Natal (13-3-1) at UFC 143. UFC officials have yet to confirm the match-up.
Kuiper, a black belt Judoka out of the Netherlands, kicked off his career in impressive fashion, roaring to seven straight victories in less than ten months. Since then the youngster has tacked on four more, including three first-round finishes, to pave his way into the UFC.
Natal, a native Brazilian with a blackbelt in Jiu-Jitsu, most recently tasted the sweet fruits of Octagon success after two swings-and-misses with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Paul Bradley. Previously "Sapo" battled his way to a loss against Rich Attonito and a majority draw with Jesse Bongfeldt.
UFC 143 takes place Super Bowl weekend, February 4th, at the Mandalay Bay Events Centers in Las Vegas, Nevada. A welterweight title bout between Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz is the night's main event.
UFC 143 fight card:
Welterweight Championship: Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
Welterweight: Carlos Condit vs. Josh Koscheck
Featherweight: Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier
Bantamweight: Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa
Middleweight: Michael Kuiper vs. Rafael Natal