clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dana White: Brad Tavares out of TUF 27 Finale headliner vs. Israel Adesanya

With Brad Tavares injured, The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale needs a new main event. Thiago Santos is willing to step up against rising prospect Israel Adesanya.

MMA: UFC Fight Night Phoenix-Jotko vs Tavares Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Next month’s The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale has lost its main event, according to UFC president Dana White.

Ranked middleweight Brad Tavares broke his foot Thursday morning and has subsequently been forced out of his first UFC main event against rising star Israel Adesanya, White told TMZ Sports on Thursday.

However, MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani reported Thursday afternoon that though Tavares is dealing with an injury, he has not officially pulled out of the bout and is still hoping to compete at the event against Adesanya.

Part of this year’s International Fight Week, TUF 27 Finale takes place at Pearl Theatre in Las Vegas on July 6.

If Tavares does end up getting officially yanked from the card, no replacement opponent has been confirmed to face Adesanya, but one fighter that could take Tavares’ place is Thiago Santos, White said.

“Thiago Santos said he will accept the fight, but I’m still looking and trying to figure this thing out,” he said. “Injuries are killing me.”

Santos (17-6) is coming off a knockout loss to former WSOF champ David Branch at UFC Fight Night 128 in April. That defeat snapped a four-fight winning streak, which included stoppages of Anthony Smith and Jack Hermansson.

Undefeated at 2-0 in the promotion, Adesanya (13-0) is one of the most anticipated prospects in the sport. He entered the Octagon for the first time this past February, defeating Mike Wilkinson with a second-round TKO. The Nigerian-born New Zealander is coming off a decision win over Marvin Vettori at UFC on FOX 29 two months ago.

Adesanya, against Tavares, Santos or someone else, is still expected to compete in the event’s headliner.