Having already lost several stars and headliners to injuries this summer, the UFC must now do without one of its top middleweights hopefuls from “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil.”
The first international edition of the UFC reality show aired its last episode Sunday on Brazilian TV, and promotion officials announced Monday that an arm injury has left 185-pound finalist Daniel Sarafian unable to compete in his season-ending showdown against Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira at UFC 147.
Instead, Ferreira will tangle with the man whom Sarafian knocked out of the semifinal stage, BJJ wiz Sergio Moraes. Ferreira and Moraes meet in the co-main event of UFC 147, which takes place Saturday at Felipe Drumond Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and features a main event rematch between Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva.
The change is just the latest brought about by a series of injury woes, which most notably wiped “TUF Brazil” coach Vitor Belfort from his main event pairing with Silva last month. In a press release, the UFC stated that “fans who purchased tickets for the event will now officially have three days to decide whether to seek a full refund.”
Moraes had been slated to compete on the card against fellow cast member Renee Forte, who will now receive a spot on a future UFC event, per the release.
Saturday’s main card also includes the “TUF Brazil” featherweight final between Northeasterners Rony “Jason” Bezerra and Godofredo “Pepey” Castro, a heavyweight tilt between Brazilian grappler Fabricio Werdum and American Mike Russow, and an intriguing 145-pound affair pitting former Jungle Fight champ Iuri Alcantara against Nova Uniao newcomer Hacran Dias.
The six-bout undercard is heavy on competitors from “TUF Brazil,” including well-traveled featherweight Rodrigo Damm against Anistavio Medeiros and another ex-Jungle Fight titlist, bulked-up lightweight Francisco Drinaldo, against IFL vet Delson Heleno at middleweight.