Undefeated young Dutchman Michael Kuiper will make his UFC debut this February, drawing Rafael “Sapo” Natal at UFC 143 for his first Octagon appearance.
MMAJunkie confirmed the match-up, which is to take place in the middleweight division, today.
The 22-year-old Kuiper sports a record of 11-0, with only one of his fights having gone the distance (it was a two-rounder). However, Natal will present a significant step up in competition for Kuiper, who has spent the entirety of his career competing against unheralded opponents around Europe. Kuiper most recently appeared in action on May 7, earning his third straight first round TKO win against Morris Cilfoni in Italy.
Rafael “Sapo” Natal will be making his fourth UFC appearance against Kuiper, having gone 1-1-1 so far in his tenure with the promotion. After losing a decision to Rich Attonito in his debut, Sapo fought Jesse Bongfeldt to a draw and then defeated Paul Bradley by decision. He most recently competed at UFC 133 this past August, where he defeated Bradley. Natal is 13-3-1 overall as a professional.
UFC 143 will likely take place on February 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and will feature a welterweight title fight between champ Georges St-Pierre and fiery challenger Nick Diaz.