Ivan Menjivar was thought to be a possible opponent for Urijah Faber to crown an interim UFC bantamweight champ. In fact, Faber was told he would be facing Menjivar. Instead, Renan Barao was pulled from a planned bout with Menjivar at UFC 148 and placed in a contest with Faber.

That left Menjivar seeking an opponent and the Zuffa brass decided on Mike Easton. The two are set to collide this Saturday night from Las Vegas.

“I don’t want to hurt him,” said Menjivar of facing Easton during a recent interview with MMASucka.com. “If I choke him, I don’t want to choke him too hard. If he hits me, not too hard please; I want to remember the fight. Win or lose, I just want to go out to the ring and have a beautiful fight.”

Menjivar (24-8) has won all three of his UFC fights since joining the promotion out of the WEC. He is 4-1 in his last five with the lone loss coming by decision to Brad Pickett.

Easton sports a career mark of 12-1 including back-to-back UFC victories. He has not lost since an injury ended his match with Reynaldo Duarte in 2007.


MMATraining Take: This match could go a long way in helping determine the pecking order in the division, as both fighters have strong resumes. A win over the other could really boost the victor to the front of the line.