The event takes place on May 30th at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Saraiva, an Atlanta native, came to the UFC with a 9-3-1 record in early-2007 but lost all three of his bouts against Dustin Hazelett, Jorge Gurgel, and Jeremy Stephens. After leaving the promotion Saraiva posted back-to-back wins over Poppies Martinez and Joe Ammerman. He won the AFL’s lightweight title in March with the first-round submission win over Ammerman. Saraiva was in action just last week, losing via unanimous decision to Brian Cobb at PFC 8.
“Josh is a phenomenal athlete with a misleading record. He has really improved since the beginning of his pro career,” said Saraiva in a press release announcing the event. “He is one of those fighters that on any given night he could beat you if you aren’t careful. Donâ€™t mistake what I am saying here. I am keeping this championship and I hope he knows it. I won’t give it up, especially not in front of my hometown crowd. I have a lot of fans, friends, and family that are going to be there and I am going to put on a good show. If he thinks his jiu-jitsu is better than mine, well I am sorry he is making that mistake. I have been training hard with Junior and Rafhael (Assuncao) along with Douglas (Lima) and Rory (Singer). They have been pushing me harder than ever before.”
Despite having an underwhelming professional record, Cate in a jiu jitsu black belt under former-UFC fighter Hermes Franca. He enters the lightweight title fight as a loser in 4 of his past 5 fights, but hasn’t fought professionally in over two years.
“I have wanted this fight for so long just to prove that I am one of the best jiu-jitsu guys in the game,” said Cate in the release. “Diego is amazing, no doubt about that. The problem is that for various reasons, unknown to me, it couldn’t happen. I’m not saying he’s been ducking me or anything, by any means. I’m just tired of walking about it now. It’s time to get after it. I wouldn’t care if this fight was in Philips or my backyard. It just needs to happen.”
Eight bouts, including three title fights, are scheduled for the May 30th event. Two marquee signings will also be announced at the event and the new fighters will be present to sign autographs.
AFL: BULLETPROOF OFFICIAL FIGHT CARD
- Junior Assuncao vs. Torrance Taylor
- Diego Saraiva vs. Josh Cate
AFL Lightweight Championship
- Dan Christison vs. Sam Holloway
- Douglas Lima vs. Brent Weedman
AFL Welterweight Championship
- George Lockhart vs. George Allen
AFL Interim Middleweight Championship
- Robi Ramey vs. David Curby
- Todd Duffee vs. Steve Banks
- Ethan Garrison vs. Willy Smalls