Dalcha Lungiambula will now take on Brazilian middleweight Markus Perez at UFC Fight Island 8 on Jan. 20 after Isi Fitikefu was forced out of the Abu Dhabi card, multiple people with knowledge of the change told MMA Fighting after an initial report from Ag. Fight.
The Fight Night card will be headlined by a welterweight clash between Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny.
Fitikefu will have to wait a bit longer to make his octagon debut after injuring his left elbow while wrestling with teammate Robert Whittaker, MMA Fighting has learned. The 6-0 Australian middleweight suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament and needs six weeks of recovery before resuming training. UFC fans caught a glimpse of Fitikefu this past October when he successfully weighed in as a light heavyweight replacement fighter for UFC 254.
Lungiambula (10-2) was previously matched up against Karl Roberson in December, but the bout was cancelled after his opponent tested positive twice for COVID-19.
A former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion for South Africa’s Extreme Fighting Championship, Lungiambula will cut down to 185 pounds for the first time after going 1-1 in the UFC in 2019 with a third-round stoppage win over Dequan Townsend followed by a defeat to Magomed Ankalaev.
Perez (12-4) has built up a mixed record since signing with the UFC in 2017, with both of his victories coming by way of submission. He is currently on a two-fight losing skid courtesy of Wellington Turman and Dricus Du Plessis.
The ex-LFA middleweight champion scored wins over former and future UFC fighters Ian Heinisch, Ildemar Alcantara and Paulo Thiago on the regional circuit.