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Thiago Tavares Injured, Michael Johnson Now In Against Tony Ferguson At UFC On Fox 3

Michael Johnson lands an elbow on Shane Roller - Photo by Esther Lin for
Michael Johnson lands an elbow on Shane Roller - Photo by Esther Lin for

The revolving door of opponents for Tony Ferguson just keeps spinning, as he's now agreed to face a third potential opponent for a lightweight bout in New Jersey at UFC on Fox 3 on May 5th. This time, it will be a fellow Ultimate Fighter alum squaring off with "El Cucuy" as Michael Johnson has agreed to fill in for an injured Thiago Tavares, who was a replacement himself for Dennis Hallman. sheds some light on the situation:

TUF 13 winner Tony "El Cucuy" Ferguson has received a new opponent -- his third in two months -- for the May 5 event at UFC on FOX. He will now face TUF 12 finalist Michael Johnson, who is replacing the injured Thiago Tavares. Tavares himself was tapped to replace Ferguson's original opponent, Dennis Hallman.

Ferguson is fortunate that Joe Silva hasn't booked him against wildly different fighting styles, as Hallman presented the threat of a catch wrestling-style submission grappler, while Tavares would have brought his smothering BJJ, and now he'll get Johnson, a wrestler who also tends to throw bombs on the feet, so he won't have to alter his training camp too drastically.

Since losing the season crown to Jonathan Brookins in a competitive bout at the Season 12 Finae, Johnson has sandwiched wins around a submission loss to the always-crafty Paul Sass. Most recently, the "Menace" scored an impressive upset victory over highly-credentialed wrestler, Shane Roller, as he showed improved takedown defense in thwarting Roller's takedowns and punishing him on the feet for two rounds, and then holding his own and reversing position when the fight went to the ground in the third frame.

Tony "El Cucuy" Ferguson (13-3)
W Yves Edwards (unam. decision) - TUF 14 Finale
W Aaron Riley (TKO) - UFC 135
W Ramsey Nijem (KO) - TUF 13 Finale
Michael "The Menace" Johnson (10-6)
W Shane Roller (unam. decision) - UFC on Fox 2
L Paul Sass (submission) - UFC on Versus 6
W Edward Faaloloto (TKO) - UFC on Versus 4

UFC on Fox 3 coverage