The UFC’s game of middleweight musical chairs continues. Thales Leites has confirmed that he will be stepping in for Rafael Natal to face Ed Herman at UFC 167.
Natal was originally slated to face Herman, but dropped out to replace Lyoto Machida in his UFC Fight Night 31 bout with Tim Kennedy. Machida meanwhile will be replacing Michael Bisping against Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30, following Bisping’s eye injury.
Leites recently returned from a four year hiatus to defeat Tom Watson at UFC 163. He has one run at the title under his belt, losing to Anderson Silva in 2009 by unanimous decision. Leites is currently 21-4, and 6-3 in the UFC.
Herman most recently picked up a split decision victory over Trevor Smith at UFC on FOX 8. Prior to that, he dropped a first round submission loss to top ranked middleweight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in Strikeforce. He is currently 21-9 in his MMA career.
UFC 167 will take place on November 16 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.