Fabio Maldonado Set To Replace Dos Santos

Published on May 7th, 2014 12:08 pm EST

Junior dos Santos, according to published reports, has been forced to pull out of his planned fight against Stipe Miocic at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale due to a broken hand.

The UFC moved quickly to replace dos Santos, as Fabio Maldonado (yes, Light Heavyweight Fabio Maldonado) is now set to square off against Miocic in the main event.

Many people are blasting the UFC for this move, calling the Maldonado/Miocic fight a "freak show". Maldonado is an undersized Light Heavyweight who can withstand a significant amount of punishment - throwing him in against a top 10 Heavyweight seems like it may be harmful to Maldonado's health, especially due to the fact that he is so very hard to knock out.

It's easy to see WHY the UFC gave Maldonado the fight - after all, they want a Brazilian in the main event. There were rumors of Josh Barnett or Matt Mitrione taking the fight, however, there would have been a few problems with that, including:

1) There would have been no Brazilian fighter in the main event
2) A fighter like Mitrione or Barnett would have had a tough time getting a temporary Visa to fight in Brazil on such short notice

With Maldonado, the UFC has a Brazilian fighter who is ready to go and won't have to worry about securing a temporary work Visa, as he is already a citizen of the country.


Fabio Maldonado is currently in the midst of a three fight winning streak that includes wins over Joey Beltran and Gian Villante. As mentioned, Maldonado has suffered an egregious amount of damage in all three of those fights, which makes it hard to imagine that his scrap against Miocic will end with anything other than a tremendous amount of bloodshed for Maldonado.

Having said all of that, Maldonado stands to increase his standing in the UFC as a result of this fight, ESPECIALLY if he is able to pull off the surprise win. After all, the UFC loves fighters who step up and save cards on short notice, and I'm sure that Maldonado will be rewarded handsomely for doing so.

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