Former WEC Bantamweight Champion Brian Bowles (10-2, 2-1 UFC) will make his return from a lengthy injury layoff at UFC 160 this May. Welcoming him back to the octagon will be George Roop (13-9-1, 3-5 UFC), who bounces back into action quickly following a win at UFC 158 last weekend. MMAJunkie.com reported the news on Thursday afternoon.
Bowles was last seen competing in November 2011 at UFC 139. He lost at that event to Urijah Faber, who handed Bowles the first submission loss of his career when he submitted him with a guillotine choke in the second round, just the second loss of his career. Bowles had won two prior fights in the UFC against Damacio Page and Takeya Mizugaki.
Injuries have kept him out of action for 18 months. He was previously out of action for 13 months following losing the WEC Bantamweight Championship to Dominick Cruz in March 2010. Bowles defeated Miguel Torres to win the title in August 2009 but never defended it successfully.
Roop scored a win at UFC 158 over Reuben Duran, marking Roop’s first win as a bantamweight. It ended a two-fight skid and kept Roop away from being released from the UFC after posting just a 1-3 record since making his return to the UFC following the merger with the WEC.
UFC 160 takes place from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 25. The main card airs on pay-per-view while prelims air on FX and Facebook. Bowles vs. Roop is expected to be a preliminary bout though it is unknown if it will air on FX or Facebook.
Cain Velasquez will defend the UFC Heavyweight Championship against Antonio Silva in the UFC 160 main event.