Erick Silva vs. Ben Saunders, Demian Maia vs. Ryan LaFlare Added To UFC Fight Night 62

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Last night (Wed., January 21, 2015) news broke that top-ranked bantamweights Urijah Faber and Raphael Assuncao had verbally agreed to a rematch in the main event of March 21’s UFC Fight Night 62 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Following the announcement, the rest of the card has been rapidly filling up, as welterweights Erick Silva and Ben Saunders have signed on to fight in a bout that will be absolutely pivotal to both men’s careers.

Both men will come into the bout off of a win. Silva was last seen submitting an outclassed Mike Rhodes at Dec. 20’s UFC Fight Night 58 from Barueri, Brazil, a win that earned him a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

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But he’s alternated wins and losses over the last nine bouts of his mercurial UFC career since his knockout win over Luis Ramos at UFC 134 in August of 2011.

Saunders most recently beat longtime vet Joe Riggs with an odd and frightening injury TKO at UFC on FOX 13 after “Diesel” hurt his neck following a successful first round takedown. Before that he made an extremely successful re-debut in the UFC by pulling off the promotion’s first-ever omoplata submission over Chris Heatherly at UFC Fight Night 49.

Another welterweight bout was verbally agreed upon (but not officially announced) between Demian Maia and Ryan LaFlare. Former middleweight title challenger Maia was last seen defeating Alexander Yakovlev at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil 3 Finale last May before a bone infection derailed the rest of his 2014.

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Prior to the rebound win over Yakovlev, Maia had dropped two straight decisions to decorated competitors Rory MacDonald and Jake Shields.

LaFlare, meanwhile, will participate in his first bout since his decision win over veteran John Howard at UFC Fight Night 39 last April. The undefeated challenger was slated to face Gunnar Nelson at UFC Fight Night 46 from Dublin until an injury forced him out of the bout.

LaFlare has won all four of his UFC fights since making his debut in April of 2013, but he has yet to finish an opponent. He’ll face the biggest test of his young career in Maia, the touted Brazilian jiu-jitsu master who has taken a bit of a slide in recent months.

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Photo Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports