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Vinicius Magalhaes to fight Eliot Marshall at UFC 97

The long running question as to when season eight light heavyweight finalist of The Ultimate Fighter Vinicius Magalhaes would make his formal UFC debut appears to have been answered. is the first to report that a 205 pound clash between Magalhaes and fellow TUF 8 castmate Eliot Marshall will soon be announced as set to take place at UFC 97 on April 18 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

Magalhaes last fought in the light heavyweight finals for the live finale of The Ultimate Fighter 8 on December 13 against Ryan Bader. Bader took the 205 pound TUF 8 crown after TKO’ing the jiu-jitsu world champion at 2:18 of round 1. The defeat dropped Magalhaes lifetime record as a pro to 2-3.

Marshall also fought at the TUF 8 finale in a non-televised match. Facing fellow castmate Jules Bruchez, Marshall was declared the winner via submission after securing a rear naked choke just one minute and 27 seconds into the fight. The win improved Marshall’s overall MMA record to 6-1. had reported earlier in the week that Marshall was slated to face Mike Ciesnolevicz at UFC 97. A reason for the change in opponents was not immediately known.

In addition to Magalhaes 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.


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