Jun 6, 2012 - With Brian Stann out of the UFC on FOX 4 main event, the UFC has scrapped the idea of a middleweight headliner.
Instead, the promotion has turned to its former light-heavyweight champion, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, who will face Brandon Vera as the anchor to the show, scheduled for August 4 in Los Angeles. The five-round matchup was confirmed on Wednesday night, with the promotion saying that verbal agreements were in place.
Stann had been expected to fight the debuting Hector Lombard, but withdrew on Wednesday, citing an injured shoulder.
The UFC didn't wait long in finding its replacement.
Rua (20-6) will be competing for the first time since his November 2011 classic against Dan Henderson, a fight which he lost by decision. He's split his last six fights. He had been scheduled to fight at UFC 149, but after losing his own opponent, Thiago Silva, due to injury, accepted the opportunity to move to the new date.
Vera had also penciled into a fight, lined up to face James Te Huna in July before the UFC reshuffled the deck.
The opportunity presents the possibility of a major turnaround for the 34-year-old Vera (12-5, 1 no contest), who was briefly released by the UFC last year after losing to Silva, a result that was later changed to a no contest after Silva admitted to using a urine alduterant during a post-fight drug test. As a result, Vera's release was rescinded. Since then, he has fought once, earning a unanimous decision win over Eliot Marshal last October.
While the UFC noted that a new opponent would soon be found for Te Huna, no further information about Lombard's near future was offered. The 34-year-old former Bellator champion hasn't lost a fight since 2006, a stretch of 25 consecutive bouts, and might have earned UFC's No. 1 middleweight contender spot with a win. Instead, he'll be left to wait for a new opponent.
Meanwhile, the injury bug has affected one other expected fight on the UFC on FOX 4 card, as Pablo Garza is out of his matchup with Josh Grispi, replaced by Rani Yahya.
'Shogun' Rua vs. Brandon Vera Gets UFC on FOX 4 Main Event Slot