Thiago Santos will be in Las Vegas next month as a backup plan for the TUF 27 Finale main event between Israel Adesanya and Brad Tavares, MMA Fighting has learned.
Middleweight sensation “The Last Stylebender” was booked to headline the July 6 card at the T-Mobile Arena versus Tavares, but UFC president Dana White told TMZ last week that Tavares was out with a broken foot and would likely be replaced by Santos.
A few days later, Tavares told Khon2 that the fight is “100% on,” saying the conflicting reports are “a lot of just miscommunication and misinformation.”
With Adesanya vs. Tavares still on for July 6, the UFC has decided to go ahead with “Marreta” as a plan B. The Brazilian middleweight is actively training in Rio de Janeiro and will fly to Las Vegas and cut weight and will be ready in case something happens to either headliner.
Adesanya (13-0) has quickly racked up a 2-0 record in the UFC with wins over Rob Wilkinson and Marvin Vettori, while Tavares (17-4) looks to score his fifth straight victory in the Octagon after defeating the likes of Krzysztof Jotko, Thales Leites and Elias Theodorou.
Santos (17-6) recently had his four-fight winning streak, all by knockout, snapped by Dave Branch.