Shine Fights will hold an event on January 8 featuring new signee and The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner Efrain Escudero (13-2), as well as a heavyweight bout between UFC vets Rolles Gracie (3-1) and Mike Ciesnolevicz (18-4), according to MMAWeekly.

The last Shine fight card, featuring a lightweight grand prix with Drew Fickett, Charles Bennett, and Rich Crunkilton, ran into trouble when the Virginia athletic commission refused to sanction the bout days before the event. That prompted a last second change of venue to an Indian reservation in Oklahoma, where Fickett eventually took the title with three wins in one night.

Escudero went 3-2 in the UFC but was released after his last fight, a loss to Charles Oliveira, where he also came in several pounds overweight.

Ciesnolevicz, who was 1-1 in the Octagon, fought in September at Prestige MMA where he submitted Demian Decorah. It was Ciesnolevicz’s first fight in over a year. Gracie, meanwhile, has not fought since losing his UFC debut to Joey Beltran at UFC 109 this past February.

By John Buhl

John Buhl is a professional journalist who has covered MMA since 2005. He has done freelance work for a number of Web sites, including InsideFighting.com, where several of his stories were published on FoxSports.com.

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