Robert Drysdale Finally Set For UFC Debut At TUF 19 Finale

Touted Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor Robert Drysdale was supposed to make his UFC light heavyweight debut against Ednaldo Oliveira at last August’s UFC 163, but a staph infection put a halt to those plans.

The ADCC gold medalist was then promptly rescheduled for a match-up against Cody Donovan at UFC 167 in November, but the dreaded Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) came knocking for an out-of-competition drug screen, Drysdale showed up with testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T:E) levels of 19.4 to 1, once again canceling his plans to make a splash in UFC.

Apparently, the third time’s a charm, as Tatame has reported that Drysdale will fight fellow newcomer Keith Berish at July 6’s The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 event from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Drysdale has finished each one of his six bouts with first round submissions; no fighter has lasted three minutes with him. But he’ll face a stiff step up in competition in the UFC, and that starts with Berish.

The little-known Berish is undefeated at 5-0, with three of his wins in Ring of Combat (ROC). He has two knockout finishes and two submission wins since starting his career in 2009.

Drysdale and Berish will put their spotless records on the line at the TUF 19 Finale, which features a trilogy match between former lightweight champions Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn, this time at featherweight.

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It’s been a long and rocky road to the UFC for Drysdale. Will his impressive submission skills translate into instant success in the Octagon?