Injuries to Grice, Payan Result in Larsen-Oliveira Featherweight Pairing at UFC 166

By Mike Whitman Sep 11, 2013
Charles Oliveira will square off with Jeremy Larsen at UFC 166. | Dave Mandel/

Jeremy Larsen and Charles Oliveira will clash at UFC 166 in a showdown spawned by injuries to their original opponents.

Larsen was initially expected to meet Matt Grice at the Oct. 19 event, but Grice was recently hospitalized after he was involved in a car accident. Meanwhile, Estevan Payan withdrew from his scheduled meeting with Oliveira, leaving “Do Bronx” without an opponent.

UFC 166 takes place at the Toyota Center in Houston and is headlined by a heavyweight title rubber match between reigning champion Cain Velasquez and ex-kingpin Junior dos Santos. The evening’s main draw airs live on pay-per-view and will also see Daniel Cormier collide with Roy Nelson in a pivotal heavyweight showdown, while Gilbert Melendez squares off with Diego Sanchez at 155 pounds.

Larsen, 27, has lost back-to-back fights since introducing himself to fans as a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter 15.” The Arizona Combat Sports rep was finished by cast mate Joe Proctor last year and then returned to the cage this past May, suffering a come-from-behind knockout loss to Lucas Martins at UFC on FX 8.

Just 23 years old, Oliveira has stumbled in each of his last two outings after posting back-to-back wins to kick off his featherweight run. “Do Bronx” closed out 2012 with a knockout loss to Cub Swanson and followed that setback with a unanimous decision defeat to former lightweight ruler Frankie Edgar two months ago at UFC 162.


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