Brazilian light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado will move up to the heavyweight division to face Stipe Miocic in the main event at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil Finale on May 31. Brazilian website Combate first reported the news on Tuesday. UFC officials later confirmed the match-up.
Miocic (11-1) was originally scheduled to face former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos on the Sao Paulo fight card. On May 5, dos Santos withdrew from the fight due to an injured hand.
Miocic made his UFC debut in October 2011, defeating Joey Beltran by unanimous decision. He won his next two fights by knockout. The 31-year-old lost for the first time in his career to Stefan Struve on Sept. 29, 2012. He rebounded with clear-cut wins over Roy Nelson and Gabriel Gonzaga.
Maldonado (21-6) is riding a three-fight winning streak. He debuted in the UFC in October 2010, knocking out James McSweeney at UFC 120. He lost his next three fights, but rebounded with back-to-back wins in 2013. The 34-year-old last fought March 23, defeating Gian Villante by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 38.
The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale takes place on May 31 from the Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo Brazil. Maldonaldo vs. Miocic headlines the fight card.
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