Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has opted to pull Urijah Faber from his scheduled main event bout at UFC Fight Night 62, which takes place at the Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro on March 21, 2015 due to Raphael Assuncao's ankle injury.
With no suitable replacement fit to take on "The California Kid" next month, MMAFighting is reporting that UFC decided to yank Faber from the card, and place Demian Maia vs Ryan LaFlare as the new main event for the Brazilian show.
The top-ranked welterweights were initially slated to be the co-main event, but now LaFlare will earn his first main event billing, while Maia takes the top spot for the third time in his Octagon career.
Maia has long been touted as the best grappler in UFC today, but coming off a lengthy injury layoff, the Brazilian will need to make sure he is fine-tuned for his bout against LaFlare. Maia has gone 4-2 since dropping down to the welterweight division, most recently snapping a two-fight losing streak by earning a decision victory over Alexander Yakovlev last May.
As for LaFlare, the undefeated prospect has looked sensational in his Octagon career thus far, earning four unanimous decision victories over increasingly difficult competition. Had LaFlare accrued a finish in any of his previous UFC bouts, he may have been ascending the ladder at a much quicker rate. The Blackzilians product is also coming off an injury heading into his March bout against Maia, so it will be intriguing to see if he is affected come fight night.
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