Just six days before the show, UFC Fight Night 137 has had another change to its main event.
Jimi Manuwa (17-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) is out of the light heavyweight headliner against Thiago “Marreta” Santos (18-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) in Brazil. But stepping in on short notice for Manuwa will be Eryk Anders (11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), multiple people with knowledge of the new booking today told MMAjunkie.
UFC officials have not yet made a formal announcement of the change for the card, which takes place Saturday at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. The main card airs on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.
Glover Teixeira originally was supposed to fight Manuwa in the headliner, but Teixeira was knocked out with a shoulder injury. Santos stepped in for Teixeira, but now Manuwa is out in the latest revolving door for the UFC Sao Paulo main event.
After a bonus-winning knockout win over Tim Williams at UFC Fight Night 135, Anders called for a fight against Elias Theodorou. Once Theodorou was booked to fight Antonio Carlos Junior at UFC 231, Anders earlier this month tweeted that he would be ready to step in if either fighter fell off the card in Toronto. Strangely enough, this past week Junior announced he was injured. But instead of heading to Canada for that fight, Anders will get his second chance at a UFC main event this week instead.
Coincidentally, Anders’ first UFC main event was in Brazil, too. In February, he dropped a split decision to former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 125 in Belem. It was the first loss of his pro career – and only time he’s fought outside the U.S. Now he’ll no doubt be looking to erase the memory of that Brazilian setback when he meets Santos.
Santos is moving up to the light heavyweight division from middleweight. He will compete outside the 185-pound division for the first time in his UFC career when he steps into his first UFC headliner. The Brazilian has already fought three times in 2018 and is fresh off a unanimous-decision victory over Kevin Holland at UFC 227. He said after the win that a jump to 205 pounds was of interest.
Manuwa was hoping to pull out of a sudden slump. The English knockout artist has lost his past two bouts. Most recently, he dropped a unanimous decision to Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 127. The setback followed a knockout loss to Volkan Oezdemir in a title eliminator.
The UFC Fight Night 137 lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (FS1, 10:30 p.m. ET)
- Thiago “Marreta” Santos vs. Eryk Anders
- Alex Oliveira vs. Carlo Pedersoli
- Sam Alvey vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
- Renan Barao vs. Andre Ewell
- Randa Markos vs. Marina Rodriguez
PRELIMINARY CARD (FS2, 10:30 p.m. ET)
- Christos Giagos vs. Charles Oliveira
- Evan Dunham vs. Francisco Trinaldo
- Luis Henrique vs. Ryan Spann
- Augusto Sakai vs. Chase Sherman
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:45 p.m. ET)
- Sergio Moraes vs. Ben Saunders
- Marya Bueno Silva vs. Gillian Robertson
- Thales Leites vs. Hector Lombard
- Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Luigi Vendramini
- Alex Chambers vs. Livia Renata Souza
- Trading Shots: What's the sales pitch for a third Liddell-Ortiz bout, and will fight fans buy it?
- UFC Moscow: Mairbek Taisumov wants Kevin Lee, but says without visa, he may retire
- Henry Cejudo feels deserving of lucrative champ-vs.-champ showdown with T.J. Dillashaw
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Eryk Anders replaces Jimi Manuwa vs. 'Marreta' Santos in UFC Sao Paulo main event