Heavyweight fighter Nikita Krylov will drop to the light heavyweight division to replace Thiago Silva and fight Ovince St. Preux at UFC 171. UFC president Dana White announced the move on Friday evening.
Krylov steps in following Silva’s recent arrest that found him charged with multiple crimes stemming from an incident involving threats made to his estranged wife and a standoff with police.
Krylov (16-3) comes down to the 205-pound division after competing in his first two UFC bouts as a heavyweight. In his most recent outing, Krylov took down Walt Harris with a 25-second knockout at UFC on FOX 10 last month.
St. Preux (14-5) is 2-0 since coming to the UFC from Strikeforce. Like Krylov, OSP comes into UFC 171 off a knockout win, finishing Cody Donovan at UFC Fight Night 26 last August.
Silva’s removal from the UFC 171 card came shortly after his arrest and subsequent hearing in front of a Florida judge. The fighter reportedly threatened members at a local Brazilian jiu-jitsu gym while carrying a firearm, and later barricaded himself inside his home before being apprehended by local authorities.
The incident at the gym stems from a domestic violence incident with Silva’s wife. According to documents read in court on Friday morning, Silva assaulted his wife in late January, sticking a gun in her mouth, and threatening to kill her. A judge ordered the fighter to be held without bond.
Silva’s UFC contract was then terminated effective immediately, according to a statement from company officials obtained by MMAWeekly.com on Friday.
UFC 172 is scheduled to take place at the America Airlines Center in Dallas on March 15. The card is headlined by a fight for the vacant UFC welterweight title between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler.
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