Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua has been forced to withdraw from his April 16 bout in Tampa against Rashad Evans due to injury. Replacing him in the FOX-televised bout will be number four-ranked contender Glover Teixeira.
In the main event at Amalie Arena, unbeaten lightweight powerhouse Khabib "The Eagle" Nurmagomedov takes on former Ultimate Fighter winner Tony "El Cucuy" Ferguson. Plus, Lyoto Machida squares off with Dan Henderson and Rose Namajunas faces Tecia Torres.
Currently on a two-fight winning streak that has seen him finish Ovince Saint Preux and Patrick Cummins, Brazil's Teixeira would like to secure a second shot at the 205-pound title, and a victory over former champion Evans, winner of two of his last three, would be a strong step in the right direction. The two were originally scheduled to fight in February of 2015 before a Teixeira injury scrapped the bout. On April 16, they finally meet in the Octagon.
In other news from the Tampa Fight Night event, it will be a clash of welterweights seeking a return to the win column when Omari Akhmedov battles Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Russia's "Wolverine" owns a 15-3 MMA record that includes UFC victories over Thiago Perpetuo, Mats Nilsson and Brian Ebersole, while Brazil's Zaleski dos Santos, 14-5, will look for his first Octagon victory following a strong effort in a split decision loss to Nicolas Dalby in his debut last May.
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