An injury may have ruled out his original opponent, but Demian Maia has a new opponent for the UFC Fight Night Card on May 31. Alexander Yakovlev revealed on his Instagram account that he has signed a contract to replace the injured Mike Pierce, although the UFC have yet to confirm news of the booking.
Maia (18-6) will be looking to get back in to the win column following back-to-back losses to Rory MacDonald and Jake Shields. His loss to MacDonald at UFC 170 grabbed the pair a Fight of the Night bonus. Prior to these losses, Maia had put together a solid three fight win streak since he dropped down to welterweight with wins over Jon Fitch, Rick Story and Dong Hyun Kim.
Yakovlev (21-4-1) will make his UFC debut following a solid run on the Russian MMA circuit. He is currently riding on a three fight win streak and his most recent performance was a decision win over former UFC and Bellator welterweight Paul Daley. The fight with Maia will mark the first time the Russian will fight outside of his home country.
The bout joins a fast filling card for the May 31 event in Brazil which is now headlined by a heavyweight fight between former champion Junior dos Santos and rising contender Stipe Miocic.