No reason was given for the “change of opponents” (Palhares-Ferreira was never officially announced) six weeks out from the show, but Miller will likely be up for the challenge having stepped into the Octagon on short notice in the past.
The New Jersey middleweight stepped in on four week’s notice for an injured Phil Baroni against John Salter at UFC 118 and on one week’s notice from the prelims to face Nate Marquardt at UFC 128 after Yoshihiro Akiyama was landlocked in Japan due to the recent Tsunami in March. In comparison, six weeks is pretty much a full camp for Miller.
2-1 in his past three fights following a tough three-fight losing skid, a win over Palhares would do wonders for the former IFL middleweight champion’s sagging career. His last loss against Marquardt is now steeped in controversy as “The Great” failed to obtain a Therapeutic Use Exepmption for his testosterone replacement therapy, yet was still allowed to compete anyway.
Palhares rebounded from a TKO loss to Marquardt at UFN 22: Marquardt vs. Palhares last September to submit David Branch via kneebar at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann in March. Prior to the loss to Marquardt he won three in a row against Jeremy Horn, Lucio Linhares and Tomasz Drwal.
The bout is expected to be on the undercard of the August 27 show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil which features a main event middleweight title fight between champion Anderson Silva and the last man to hand him a loss on his record, Yushin Okami.