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Alex da Silva out of UFC Vegas 18 with knee injury, replacement opponent sought for Devonte Smith

Devonte Smith (pictured) needs a new opponent for UFC Vegas 18 following Alex da Silva’s withdrawal
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC is searching for a new opponent to face lightweight Devonte Smith at UFC Vegas 18 after a knee injury forced Alex da Silva out of the Feb. 6 card in Las Vegas, multiple people with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting following a report from MMA Junkie.

“Leko” da Silva (21-3) suffered an injury to his lateral collateral ligament and will have to remain sidelined from training for eight weeks, sources said. The Brazilian went 1-2 in his first trio of octagon appearances with win over Rodrigo Vargas sandwiched between defeats to Alexander Yakovlev and Brad Riddell.

Smith (10-2) will attempt to get back on track after losing his first bout in two and a half years, a first-round defeat to Khama Worthy that snapped a sequence of six stoppage victories, including UFC wins over Julian Erosa and Dong Hyun Ma.

UFC Vegas 18 takes place at UFC APEX in Las Vegas and feature a heavyweight showdown between Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov in the main event. Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar battles Cory Sandhagen in a bantamweight co-headliner.