Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Igor Pokrajac steps in to meet Thiago Silva at UFC on FX 3


With Brandon Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) sidelined by injury, Igor Pokrajac (24-8 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has stepped in to meet a returning Thiago Silva (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

UFC officials today confirmed the injury replacement.

As previously reported, UFC on FX 3 takes play May 15 at Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. The event's main card airs live on FX, and FUEL TV is expected to air the preliminary card.

When Silva steps into the cage that night, it will have been 16 months sine he last appeared in the octagon. Two months after Silva fought fellow light heavyweight Vera and earned a unanimous-decision win at UFC 125 in January 2011, Silva was served with a formal complaint from the Nevada State Athletic Commission – which oversaw the bout – after two separate urinalysis samples revealed a substance that was "inconsistent with human urine," indicating that he "submitted an adulterated and/or substituted specimen for testing for the urinalysis."

In a hearing held this past April, Silva admitted to taking a prescription steroid, delivered by a doctor via epidural, on two separate occasions prior to UFC 125. He was fined (and later paid) $13,750 of his $55,000 "show" purse and $20,000 of his $55,000 "win" purse for a total of $33,750. Additionally, the result of the UFC 125 bout was changed to a "no contest."

Vera was subsequently brought back by the UFC after being released with the UFC 125 loss. Following a decision win over Eliot Marshall at UFC 137, he was booked to meet Silva before injury struck.

Pokrajac most recently fought at UFC 140, where he knocked out Krzysztof Soszynski in 35 seconds. It was his second consecutive win following a TKO victory over Todd Brown at UFC on Versus 3.