The TUF Brazil 3 Finale (May 31st, Sao Paulo) has lost its main event — again. As first reported by Combate, former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos has been forced to withdraw from his headlining fight against Stipe Miocic due to a broken hand.
“I’m really sad. I apologize to my fans, to the UFC and to my opponent, Stipe Miocic, and hope to have another opportunity to fight in Brazil once my hand is healed,” dos Santos said in a statement.
The UFC is currently scrambling to find a replacement for Dos Santos, and Miocic has made it clear that he’s down for whatever. We wish Joe Silva luck in salvaging the main event, because right now, Demian Maia vs. Alexander Yakovlev is the biggest remaining fight on the card, and Yakovlev is an injury replacement himself.
UPDATE: Brazilian light-heavyweight veteran Fabio Maldonado has stepped in to replace Dos Santos, and will fight Miocic in the main event. After suffering three consecutive UFC losses in 2011-2012 — during which he proved that he has an elite-level ability to absorb damage — Maldonado has rallied back with three straight decision wins, most recently taking a unanimous nod against Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night 38: Shogun vs. Henderson 2 back in March. The fight against Miocic will mark Maldonado’s first heavyweight appearance in the UFC. “The Iron Hillbilly” is realistic about his chances here:
“The only thing I promise the fans is that it’s going to be a bloody, violent fight. I can’t promise the win because anything can happen, but I will do my best.”
The current TUF Brazil 3 lineup is after the jump
, and features a pair of tournament finals, three semi-obscure Russian talents, and lack of star power at the top. So, it’s basically a Bellator card at this point…
Stipe Miocic vs. Fabio Maldonado
TUF Brazil 3 middleweight tourney final
TUF Brazil 3 heavyweight tourney final
Demian Maia vs. Alexander Yakovlev
Rony Jason vs. Robert Peralta
Diego Brandao vs. Brian Ortega
Ernest Chavez vs. Elias Silverio
Rodrigo Damm vs. Rashid Magomedov
Paulo Thiago vs. Gasan Umalatov
Mark Eddiva vs. Kevin Souza
Matt Hobar vs. Pedro Munhoz