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Bisping-Boetsch, Barao-Hougland Added To UFC 148

The UFC 148 fight card is shaping up fast, as the UFC has announced several matchups intended for the event.

In addition to the bantamweight title fight headliner between champ Dominick Cruz and rival Urijah Faber and a middleweight tilt between Rich Franklin and Cung Le, the promotion revealed today that 185ers Michael Bisping and Tim Boetsch will do battle on the card, as will rising bantamweight prospects Renan Barao and Jeff Hougland.

Though coming off of a loss, Michael Bisping (22-4) may be as highly regarded currently as he ever has been. The Count faced number one contender Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2 this past January, losing a razor thin and controversial decision to the division’s number two. Bisping’s opponent, Tim Boetsch (15-4), picked up the biggest victory of his career last month at UFC 144, rallying from a two-round deficit to knock Yushin Okami in the third round of their bout. Considering their recent performances, Bisping vs. Boetsch could go a long way in determining the next middleweight contender.

Staying in the vein of title contenders, Renan Barao (28-1, 1 NC) has been pegged by many as the next best thing in the bantamweight division. On an eighteen-fight winning streak overall and a three-fight run in the UFC, an impressive win over Hougland could very well see Barao granted a shot at the belt. Hougland (10-4), on the other hand, only made his UFC debut last July at UFC 132, taking out fellow Octagon debutant Donny Walker by decision; he hasn’t appeared in the cage since.

UFC 148 is scheduled to take place on July 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.