After recent news that Alessio Sakara's opponent for the UFC on Versus 3 card, Rafael Natal, had gone down with an injury as did Sakara's first scheduled opponent, Maiquel Falcao, Heavy.com has confirmed that the UFC has signed a blue-chip prospect to step in and face Sakara on three weeks' notice:
Heavy.com has confirmed that Team Serra-Longo trained Chris Weidman will replace Natal.
Weidman is undefeated with a 4-0 record and will make his UFC debut against the American Top Team trained Sakara.
Weidman was recently ranked #2 in Leland Rolling's World MMA Middleweight Scouting Report right here on BloodyElbow.com. The New Yorker's grappling prowess can't be denied, as he defeated Ryan Bader and Phil Davis in wrestling competition while at Hofstra University as a two-time D-1 All American. Weidman has also excelled in BJJ competitions as a purple belt under Matt Serra, including his performance at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Submission Grappling tournament where had had his coming-out party against grappling phenom, Andre Galvao, in a match that saw Galvao eventually win by points, but not before Weidman had Galvao in trouble with several submissions and some highight-reel throws.
Weidman will be facing a whole different beast in Sakara, who's known for his striking prowess, but Weidman himself has ended two of his career victories on first-round strikes, including a fight against highly-touted striker, Uriah Hall. There's not yet been any confirmation about the Sakara-Weidman bout remaining on the Versus-televised main card, but we'll keep you updated when any news breaks right here at Bloody Elbow.