Heavy-handed middleweight Costas Philippou has been forced to withdraw from his UFC on FX 8 matchup with Ronaldo Souza.
UFC officials announced the development on Friday, revealing that Chris Camozzi will now face Souza in Philippou’s stead. Camozzi’s original opponent, Rafael Natal, now squares off with Octagon newcomer Joao Zeferino. UFC on FX 8 takes place May 18 at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, and is headlined by a middleweight showdown between former UFC champion Vitor Belfort and ex-Strikeforce titlist Luke Rockhold.
Camozzi, 26, initially found his way onto the UFC on FX 8 bill opposite Cezar Ferreira as an injury replacement for C.B. Dollaway but was later paired with Natal after Ferreira also withdrew due to injury. A 24-fight pro, Camozzi currently rides a four-fight winning streak and was last seen on March 16, when he took a split decision victory over Nick Ring at UFC 158.
Souza, 33, makes his UFC debut having won seven of his last eight. “Jacare” captured the Strikeforce middleweight crown in 2010 but lost the belt to Rockhold the following year. Since that defeat, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace has finished three straight opponents, most recently tapping UFC vet Ed Herman with a kimura on Jan. 12.