Maldonado Replaces Blackledge at UFC 120

By Mike Whitman Sep 28, 2010
Fabio Maldonado (top) file photo: Gleidson Venga |

The UFC has signed Brazilian light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado to fight James McSweeney at UFC 120 on Oct. 16 at the O2 Arena in London.

Maldonado will fill in for McSweeney's original opponent, fellow Englishman Tom Blackledge, whose reason for pulling out of the event could not be confirmed.

A member of Team Nogueira, Maldonado (17-3) will carry a 10-fight winning streak into the Octagon. Of Maldonado's 17 victories, 14 have been finishes, and he has never been knocked out. The 30-year-old also competes in professional boxing and is undefeated in 22 fights, with 21 of those wins ending by KO. Though the Brazilian typically trains out of Nogueira's gym in Rio De Janeiro, recently he has spent time training with UFC lightweight Thiago Tavares in Florianopolis, Brazil.

McSweeney (4-5), a cast member of “The Ultimate Fighter” season 10, was himself a late replacement for Blackledge's original opponent, James Te-Huna, who was forced to withdraw due to injury. The Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts fighter has gone 1-1 in UFC competition. Although he typically fights at heavyweight, McSweeney is making the cut to 205 for his upcoming fight in London.

The event will be headlined by top UK middleweight Michael Bisping, who will take on K-1 and Dream veteran Yoshihiro Akiyama in the main event.

Gleidson Venga contributed to this report
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