Less than one month away from the scheduled Finale to The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 27, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Brad Tavares has suffered a broken foot and will not be able to compete against the up-and-coming Israel Adesanya. Per UFC honcho Dana White’s conversation with TMZ Sports, Brazilian Thiago Santos has verbally agreed to take the fight, but the company is still unsure about who the opponent should be for the 13-0 hot prospect.
Brad Tavares – I don’t think anybody knows this yet – but Brad Tavares just this morning broke his foot. He’s outta that fight right now with Israel, so we’re looking to put somebody new in with this kid. And, uh… I’m excited about him.
I don’t know. Thiago Santos said he will accept the fight. But, uh, I’m looking. I’m still looking and trying to figure this thing out. Injuries are killing me, man!
Santos would be a lower-ranked opponent than Tavares (8 versus 12) and would, in theory, be an easier fight for the highly touted New Zealander. Tavares is riding a four-fight win streak, while Santos had his own four-fight win streak stopped by the growing striking prowess of David Branch six weeks ago as he fell victim to a massive overhand right.
It remains to be seen who the UFC will put in to attempt to derail the Adesanya hype train, but with the fight a mere 29 days away, expect an announcement soon.
This leaves the card with only four official fights still on it. We know the winners of the reality shows will face off, but that still only makes five bouts: Alessio Di Chirico vs. Julian Marquez, Roxanne Modafferi vs. Barb Honchak, Montana De La Rosa vs. Rachael Ostovich and Matt Bessette vs. Steven Peterson.
Tune into MMA Mania for all the updates on this season of The Ultimate Fighter, Miocic vs Cormier.