Because of the unfortunate situation in Brazil with flooding devastating the area, Alexandre Ferreira has been forced to pull out of his fight against Rousimar Palhares at UFC on Versus 3 in Kentucky.
His situation was made worse when he was released by Chute Box and we certainly hope for the best for the Brazilian and his family. That said, Dave Branch has been tapped to step in for him at the March 3 event.
Heavy.com brought word of the switch earlier today.
There were rumblings that Branch would fight Dan Miller at UFC 128 but those have now been put to rest with the news of his stepping in against "Toquinho."
The Renzo Gracie disciple has strung together a couple decision wins but he's still trying to erase the memory of getting donkey-slammed by Gerald Harris in July of last year (2010). It won't be easy, as Palhares is trying to forget his last performance as well.
"Paul Harris" is a jiu-jitsu specialist with an entire cache of limbs he's ripped from his opponents bodies who dared step in against him. His dreaded heel hook has claimed more than a few victims and he applies it so ruthlessly in fact, that he was suspended for 90 days after his win over Tomasz Drwal back at UFC 111.
So in his return he was promptly given a match-up against perennial middleweight contender Nate Marquardt. And once again, the Brazilian was diving for a leg, looking to add it to his collection.
But Nate made a "Great" escape that had Palhares convinced he was greasing to the point of taking his eyes off his dangerous opponent just long enough to allow Marquardt to pound him out for the first round finish.
A valuable lesson and we'll see how he uses that experience against Branch on March 3.
UFC on Versus 3 is all set for the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky and will feature a main event of Diego Sanchez vs Martin Kampmann.
Stay tuned to MMAMania.com for any updates or changes as they become available.