UFC 148: Mike Easton replaces Renan Barao against Ivan Menjivar on July 7 in Las Vegas

Pictured: Mike Easton.

When Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz suffered a knee injury, a replacement opponent for Urijah Faber was sought and quickly found in the form of Renan Barao.

That meant the Brazilians originally scheduled opponent, Ivan Menjivar, was left without a dance partner over the Independence Day weekend. It's a good thing Mike Easton was available and taking bookings, as he's stepped up to fill the void on the UFC 148: "Silva vs. Sonnen 2" fight card scheduled for July 7, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

FoxSports.com has it:

"Easton is one of the bantamweight division's rising contenders who's now going after the biggest win of his career, but he has to get past the incredibly dynamic and much more experienced Menjivar," UFC president Dana White said. "Both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout."

Easton is 2-0 since making his way to the Octagon following a two year break from professional competition. Considering the circumstances a big win over Menjivar could very well catapult him to the upper echelon of the 135-pound division.

Standing in his way is Menjivar, who lost three of four fights from Oct. 2006 to Dec. 2010 before making the jump to the UFC as part of the merger with World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). It's been smooth sailing since then, as he's won his first three contests inside the eight-sided cage.

His name was briefly considered to replace Cruz against Faber but Barao's credentials were simply better.

UFC 148 will feature the long-awaited mixed martial arts (MMA) rematch between Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen in the main event of the evening, while Faber vs. Barao will be the co-featured fight of the night for the interim Bantamweight belt with Dominick Cruz injured.

Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le, Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz and Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia round out the pay-per-view (PPV) main card for one of the promotion's most anticipated event's of the 2012 season.

For more on UFC 148: "Sonnen vs. Silva 2" be sure to hit up our event archive right here. To check out the latest UFC 148 fight card and rumors click here.

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