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Fabio Maldonado gets first fight after five-year run in the UFC

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Released from the UFC after losses to Quinton Jackson and Corey Anderson in 2015, Brazilian brawler Fabio Maldonado has signed a deal with XFC International and is scheduled to make his promotional debut on March 19 against Andrew Smith.

Maldonado (22-9) competed in the UFC for five years, going 5-6 with wins over the likes of Hans Stringer, Joey Beltran and Gian Villante. A fan favorite for his fighting style, "The Iron Hillbilly" has stood in against some of the best in the UFC, from Stipe Miocic to Glover Teixeira.

Smith (15-9), who moved up to heavyweight on short notice to face Pedro Rizzo in his retirement bout in 2015, got himself back in the win column 18 days later with a victory over Daniel Marquez. The Hawaiian fighter finished his opponent in 11 of his 15 wins, including 10 knockouts.

Former WEC lightweight champion Hermes Franca (23-15, 1 NC) also makes his XFC debut that night, facing Bellator veteran Ricardo Tirloni (21-6).

XFC International 14 takes place at the XFC International Center in Sao Paulo, and also features Daniel Virginio (4-1) vs. Fernando Vieira (12-2) for the bantamweight title.

Full XFC International 14 fight card:

Daniel Virginio vs. Fernando Vieira
Fabio Maldonado vs. Andrew Smith
Guilherme Faria vs. Genair da Silva
Fernando Rodrigues vs. Tiago Cardoso
Ricardo Tirloni vs. Hermes Franca
Silvana Juarez vs. Julie Werner
Cleiton Pereira vs. Jefferson Rodrigues
Luciano Palhano vs. Ary Santos
Jady Menezes vs. Liana Pirosin
Carol Correia vs. Amanda Torres
Pedro Junior vs. Luiz Cado
Naiara Pereira vs. Priscila Souza