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UFC pulls off last-minute switcheroo for UFC Vegas 46 co-main event

UFC Fight Night: Pereira v Imadaev Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC welterweight wild man Michel Pereira was scheduled to throw hands with streaking 170-pound veteran Muslim Salikhov in the UFC Vegas 46 co-main event this Sat. night (Jan. 15, 2022) inside the promotion’s APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Then came an undisclosed illness to Salikhov, forcing the “King of Kung Fu” to withdraw from this weekend’s card. Taking his place will be UFC newcomer Andre Fialho, who has just a few days to make weight, pass medicals, and prepare for his Octagon debut.

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PIVOTAL FLYWEIGHT FRACAS! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Arena CDMX in Mexico City, Mexico, on Feb. 24, 2024, with a pivotal Flyweight fracas between former 125-pound kingpin, Brandon Moreno, and most recent title challenger, Brandon Royval, who replaces the red-hot (and injured) Iraqi “Prince,” Amir Albazi. In UFC Mexico City’s ESPN+-streamed co-main event, top-ranked Featherweight contenders, Yair Rodriguez (No. 3) and Brian Ortega (No. 4), will run it back after their initial encounter ended prematurely via gross injury.

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That’s according to a report from ESPN.

After being disqualified against Diego Sanchez at UFC 267, the 28 year-old Pereira (26-11) rattled off three straight wins, including last July’s unanimous decision victory over the hot-and-cold Niko Price at UFC 264 in Las Vegas.

As for Fialho, 27, he improved to 14-3 by beating the brakes off Stefan Sekulic as part of the UAE Warriors event last October. The Portuguese power puncher — who also spent time with Bellator MMA and PFL — is the winner of four straight, all by way of knockout.

UFC Vegas 46 will be headlined by the featherweight contender battle between Top 10 rivals Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze. Elsewhere on the card, Rogerio Bontorin and Brandon Royval hook ‘em up at 125 pounds.

To see the rest of the UFC Vegas 46 lineup click here.

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