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Ed Herman vs Thales Leites fight set for UFC 167 with Rafael Natal moved to 'Fight for Troops 3'

The mixed martial arts (MMA) musical chairs have (hopefully) finally stopped shifting with news that Thales Leites will fill-in for Rafael Natal to fight Ed Herman at UFC 167.

Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Herman didn't have to wait long to learn the name of his new opponent at UFC 167, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 16, 2013.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) matched up "Short Fuse" with Thales Leites less than 24 hours after it promoted Herman's original opponent, Rafael Natal, to UFC Fight Night 31: "Fight for Troops 3" main event slot opposite Tim Kennedy, who missed out on the opportunity to fight Lyoto Machida when he was needed to replace the injured Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 30 later this month.

It's been quite the carousel (full details here and here), which hopefully now stops spinning with this latest news from "UFC Tonight."

Herman (21-9) is fresh off a split-decision win over Trevor Smith at UFC on Fox 8 last July. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 3 runner-up is 4-1 (1 NC) since returning from knee surgery back in 2011, his only loss coming to Ronaldo Souza in a "one-off" under the Strikeforce banner.

Leites recently returned to the Octagon after a four-year absence to outpoint Tom Watson on all three judges scorecards to win a unanimous decision at UFC 163 this past August in Brazil. The former No. 1 Middleweight contender has compiled an impressive mixed martial arts (MMA) record (7-1) since he was first released from the organization back in Aug. 2009.

UFC 167 features a main event between Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, defending his division title against 170-pound No. 1-ranked contender Johny Hendricks.

In the co-main event, former Light Heavyweight champion Rashad Evans will attempt to silence Chael Sonnen, while two other intriguing match ups -- Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem and Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald -- will help support the promotion's 20th Anniversary pay-per-view (PPV) main card.

That's not all.

To check out the latest UFC 167 fight card rumors and scheduled line up click here. And to get all the "St. Pierre vs. Hendricks" news that's fit to print check out our comprehensive event archive right here.

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