After lengthy layoff, Brian Bowles returns against George Roop at UFC 160

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After sitting out for over a year, former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles is finally slated to make his return against George Roop at UFC 160. Promotion officials announced the bout on Thursday.

UFC 160 takes place May 25, 2013 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Thus far the main card features three prominent bouts -- Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt, Glover Teixeira vs. James Te Huna, and Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant -- and is headlined by a heavyweight championship rematch between Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva.

Bowles (10-2) jumps back into the fray for the first time since suffering a second-round submission loss to Urijah Faber in a title eliminator back in November 2011. Prior to his setback, the 32-year-old rolled to two straight UFC victories, submitting Damacio Page then outpointing Takeya Mizugaki.

A staple of the WEC, Bowles racked up five quick finishes after joining the promotion in 2007, punctuating his run by stunning Miguel Torres via first-round knockout to claim the WEC bantamweight title. Bowles subsequently lost the belt to current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.

Roop (13-9-1), meanwhile, eyes a quick return after outpointing Reuben Duran in mid-March. The decision win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Roop, which saw the 31-year-old drop a split decision to Hatsu Hioki before falling to strikes against Cub Swanson. Through two stints in the UFC, Roop carries a 3-5 record.

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