Thiago Silva’s arrest leads off today’s fight announcements as the UFC scrambles to replace him.
Following Silva’s contract termination for allegedly assaulting his wife, UFC matchmakers quickly filled his UFC 171 slot with Ukrainian light heavyweight Nikita Krylov. Silva was to face former Strikeforce veteran Ovince St-Preux in one of the event’s preliminary bouts.
After his 25 second TKO of Walt Harris at UFC on FOX 10, Krylov (16-3) said he planned on dropping to the 205 pound division. Before losing his first UFC match last August, Krylov dominated European competition, notching a 15-2 record with multiple Russian and Ukrainian promotions.
St.-Preux (14-5) is coming off back-to-back Octagon wins. After a successful 5-1 Strikeforce run, he won his UFC debut against Gian Villante and subsequently scored a knockout victory over Cody Donovan at UFC Fight Night 26
Due to numerous injures, a welterweight match Mike Pyle and T.J. Waldburger has been upgraded to the main card.
Pyle (25-9-1) cracks the newly adjusted UFC welterweight rankings in the No. 15 position, although he says that he will be in the top ten by year’s end. Following a four-fight winning streak, Pyle lost to Matt Brown at UFC Fight Night 26 via knockout.
Waldburger’s (16-8) UFC 166 loss to Adlan Amagov signified the fighter’s up-and-down journey over the last three years. Since 2011, Waldburger is 3-3 with submission victories over Mike Stumpf, Jake Hecht, and Nick Cantone to go along with two knockouts and a unanimous decision loss.
With the Pyle-Waldburger fight moving up, lightweights Ernest Chavez (6-0) and Yosdenis Cedeno (9-2) will kick off the event, but their match will only be available on UFC Fight Pass.
Former King of the Cage Lightweight Champion Bobby Green and UFC veteran Jim Miller have verbally agreed to join the UFC 172 card.
Green (22-5) looks to extend a seven-fight winning streak that began in Strikeforce. ‘King’ won each of his UFC matches in 2013, including a victory over Jacob Volkmann at UFC: Fight for the Troops 3 that earned him Submission of the Night honors.
Victories of Fabricio Camoes, Pat Healy, and Joe Lauzon have helped Miller (23-4) retain his position within the UFC lightweight rankings where he sits in 9th place. Miller originally lost to Healy via submission before a post-fight drug test revealed that Healy tested positive for marijuana.
UFC Fight Night 38
Israeli-born Noad Lahat will make his UFC debut against featherweight Godofredo Pepey in a match slated for Pepey’s native Brazil.
Lahat (7-0) will become only the second ever UFC fight of Israeli descent and the first since Moti Hornstein competed in the mid-90s. After making his mixed martial arts debut in Tel-Aviv’s Desert Combat Challenge, Lahat has spent the better part of the last six years competing in various California-based MMA promotions.
Coming off back-to-back losses, Pepey (9-3) may be fighting to stay in the UFC. Pepey rode his The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil success to a 1-3 UFC record, including a UFC 147 loss to Rony Mariano Bezerra that determined the show’s featherweight winner.
TUF China Finale
Next month’s The Ultimate Fighter: China finale has booked its three final matches.
Zack Cummings (16-3) takes on undefeated Alberto Mina (10-0) in a welterweight bout. Cummings made his impressive UFC debut with a d’arce choke victory over Ben Alloway at UFC Fight Night 27. Mina, meanwhile, appears unstoppable winning each of his fights either by submission or TKO.
Featherweights Jumabieke ‘The Wild Wolf’ Tuerxun (14-0) and Mark Eddiva (5-0) square off in a battle of unbeaten fighters. Eddiva, the UFC’s first Filipino-born fighter, makes his UFC debut against Tuerxun who is coming off of a 16-month hiatus.
To round off the card, MMA newcomers Albert Cheng (2-2) and Anying Wang face off in the show’s semifinal match.
UFC on FOX 11
The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 semifinalist Santiago Ponzinibbio and Canadian welterweight Jordan Mein will compete at April’s UFC on FOX 11.
Mein (27-9) looks to bounce back after a TKO loss to Matt Brown at UFC on FOX 7. He took the fight on short notice after Dan Hardy pulled out citing health reasons. Prior to that, Mein concluded a two-year Strikeforce stint by knocking Dan Miller out in his UFC debut.
Looking to build on his TUF Brazil 2 success, Ponzinibbio (18-2) made his UFC debut against Ryan LaFlare and subsequently lost, snapping his seven-fight winning streak. Whether their match makes the main card has yet to be announced.
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