Andre Fialho has signed with the UFC and will get a big opportunity Saturday.
Muslim Salikhov has been forced out of UFC on ESPN 32, and Fialho (14-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will step in on short notice to face Michel Pereira (26-11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC). A person with knowledge of the booking informed MMA Junkie on Tuesday but asked to remain anonymous since the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. UFC broadcast partner ESPN was first to report the news.
Fialho’s management announced his signing to the UFC on social media. Pereira later confirmed the fight on his Instagram.
UFC on ESPN 32 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card airs on ESPN following prelims on ESPN+.
Fialho, a PFL, Bellator and UAE Warriors veteran, has won his past four in a row. The 27-year-old Sanford MMA fighter is coming off a first-round TKO of ex-UFC fighter Stefan Sekulic at UAE Warriors 24 in October.
After back-to-back setbacks to Tristan Connelly and Diego Sanchez, entertaining Brazilian Pereira has scored three straight wins over Zelim Imadaev, Khaos Williams, and most recently Niko Price at UFC 264 in July.
With the change, the UFC on ESPN 32 lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (ESPN, ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)
Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze
Andre Fialho vs. Michel Pereira
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia
Rogerio Bontorin vs. Brandon Royval
Jake Collier vs. Chase Sherman
Gabriel Benitez vs. TJ Brown
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 4 p.m. ET)
Bill Algeo vs. Joanderson Brito
Ramiz Brahimaj vs. Court McGee
Viacheslav Borshchev vs. Dakota Bush
Saidyokub Kakhramonov vs. Brian Kelleher
Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez
Joseph Holmes vs. Jamie Pickett