UFC officials announced Thursday that Thiago Tavares has suffered an injury and will be unable to compete against Tony Ferguson as expected at UFC on Fox 3. Ferguson will instead face Michael Johnson.
The opponent swap marks the second such occurrence for Ferguson (Pictured), who had originally been slated to square off with veteran Dennis Hallman before “Superman” was also bitten by the injury bug.
UFC on Fox 3 takes place May 5 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., and will be headlined by a five-round lightweight bout pitting Nate Diaz against Jim Miller. The Las Vegas-based promotion’s third effort on network television will also feature a pivotal welterweight matchup between talented wrestlers Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks, as well as a middleweight showdown between Alan Belcher and Rousimar Palhares.
Ferguson, 28, joined the UFC as the welterweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 after knocking out Ramsey Nijem at the live finale this past June. “El Cucuy” subsequently dropped to lightweight, where he posted wins over Aaron Riley at UFC 135 and Yves Edwards at the “TUF 14” finale to close out 2011.
Johnson advanced to the finals of “TUF 12,” but was outpointed by season winner Jonathan Brookins at the live finale. Since that loss, “The Menace” has won two of three outings, most recently taking a unanimous decision from Shane Roller at UFC on Fox 2 on Jan. 28.