Fabio Maldonado is stepping up for a big challenge at heavyweight. | Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
Fabio Maldonado will replace the injured Junior dos Santos in the main event of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3” finale.
UFC officials Tuesday announced the change via social media. Usually a member of the UFC’s 205-pound roster, Maldonado will now collide with heavyweight contender Stipe Miocic to close the May 31 show, which takes place at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Maldonado, 34, has won three straight fights after beginning his UFC career with just a single victory in his first four appearances. The Brazilian went 2-0 last year and began 2014 with a March 23 triumph, outpointing Strikeforce alum Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night “Shogun vs. Henderson 2.”
Miocic has endured defeat just once in 12 pro outings, sustaining a 2012 knockout at the hands of Stefan Struve in his fourth bout with the UFC. The American rebounded from the setback with back-to-back wins, however, outpointing Roy Nelson last June before doing the same to Gabriel Gonzaga this past January at UFC on Fox 10.