A late addition to the card for UFC 97 has been made by the UFC in anticipation of its next event on April 18. According to a report by MMAWeekly.com, Miletich Fighting Systems product Mike Ciesnolevicz will take on Elliot Marshall in a preliminary bout during the UFC’s return to the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
The bout has yet to be officially announced by the UFC and if the story is correct, it would mean that UFC 97 would have a total of 12 bouts scheduled. There is no word as to whether Ciesnolevicz vs. Marshall will be replacing a previously announced matchup.
Ciesnolevicz, a former standout in the now-defunct International Fight League, made his UFC debut at UFC 95 last month in London, England. Accepting a fight on short notice and moving up a weight class just to get his foot into the door with the organization, Ciesnolevicz impressed UFC officials by submitting heavyweight Neil Grove with a heel hook at just 1:03 of round 1.
The win improved Ciesnolevicz’s overall record to 17-3 and increased his win streak to four. The long-time veteran been competing as a pro since 2003 and holds notable victories over Brent Beauparlant, Alex Schoenauer, and Aaron Stark.
Marshall, 6-1, was featured during the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Despite being eliminated during the light heavyweight competition, he was brought back for the December finale where he submitted Jules Bruchez at 1:27 of round 1 with a rear naked choke.
In addition to Ciesnolevicz vs. Marshall, UFC 98 is set to be headlined by Anderson Silva defending his UFC middleweight title vs. Thales Leites. Additionally, former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell will return to action against former PRIDE star Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Other reported matchups for UFC 97 include Cheick Kongo vs. Antoni Hardonk, David Loiseau vs. Ed Herman, Brian Stann vs. Krzysztof Soszynski, Luiz Cane vs. Steve Cantwell, Mark Bocek vs. David Bielkheden, T.J. Grant vs. Ryo Chonan, Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry, Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Denis Kang, and Sam Stout vs. Matt Wiman.