Following multiple injuries to former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, Brazilian veteran Jacare Souza will now fill in against Chris Weidman at UFC 230 on Nov. 3 from New York City. Souza was originally scheduled to fight David Branch on the same card.
This is according to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto (shown below), who recently spoke with UFC president Dana White about the co-main event mashup.
Weidman vs. Jacare is done, per Dana White. UFC trying to keep David Branch, who was scheduled to fight Jacare, on the card. Jared Cannonier is a possibility, but not done.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 20, 2018
This is now the third co-main event to grace UFC 230’s pay-per-view (PPV) card. First, it was a lightweight tilt between Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier, but an injury to “Diamond” earlier this month nixed that dream matchup. Then it was a rematch between Rockhold and Weidman, which fell to the wayside earlier today. Now, it’s a middleweight bout between Weidman and submission specialist Souza.
While fight fans are likely tired of all these changes, this works out great for Souza. Branch is certainly a major player at middleweight, but a matchup with a former UFC champion like Weidman in New York City should get the Brazilian a lot more exposure. Coming off a split-decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum this past May, Souza is going to need a big time win to close out 2018 and stay afloat at 185 pounds.
UFC 230 will take place from inside Madison Square Garden and feature a main event clash between heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and knockout king Derrick Lewis.
For complete UFC 230 fight card news click here.