Vagner Rocha (above) will step in for Mac Danzig at UFC 131. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
UFC lightweight Mac Danzig has suffered an unspecified injury which has forced him from his UFC 131 bout with Donald Cerrone. Stepping in to replace Danzig at the event will be Octagon newcomer Vagner Rocha, the promotion announced Tuesday night.
Headlined by a heavyweight No. 1 contenders’ between heavy hitters Shane Carwin and Junior dos Santos, UFC 131 goes down June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The event will also feature the featherweight debut of former lightweight title challenger Kenny Florian, as the American locks horns with Brazilian Diego Nunes.
Only once beaten in seven starts, Rocha has twice fought and competed in the circular cage of Bellator Fighting Championships. The Pablo Popovitch BJJ black belt suffered his only defeat to date in his lone Strikeforce appearance, a June 2010 unanimous decision loss to Bret Bergmark. Rocha returned and rebounded on May 7, when he scored a first-round armbar submission of Jacob Clark in Miami.
Cerrone rides a three-fight win streak into his showdown with Rocha. A former WEC lightweight title challenger, “Cowboy” dominated nemesis Jamie Varner at WEC 51 in September before submitting Chris Horodecki at the promotion’s final show in December. Cerrone made his UFC debut in February, weathering early offense from Paul Kelly before submitting the Brit with a rear-naked choke in the second round.