The news broke Monday night that Mike Pierce (17-6) was forced out of his May 31 bout with Demian Maia (18-6) due to a broken hand. UFC newcomer Alexander Yakovlev (21-4-1) will step in for Pierce against Maia on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale card in Sao Paulo, Brazil, according to his coach.
Yakovlev was originally scheduled to face Yan Cabral (11-0) at UFC Fight Night 40 in Cincinnati on May 10. With Yakovlev now facing Maia, Zak Cummings (16-3) has agreed to face Cabral in Cincinnati.
Maia could be fighting for his job when he faces Yakovlov. The Brazilian is coming off back-to-back loses to Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald. It will be Yakovlev’s promotional debut. He’s riding a three-fight winning streak, including defeating Paul Daley in his last outing on Nov. 8, 2013.
Cabral hopes to extend his undefeated streak to 12 when he faces Cummings. He appeared on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, but was eliminated from the show after suffering a broken hand.
Cummings appeared on the seventeenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He was defeated by Dylan Andrews in the elimination round and made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 27 in August 2013. He defeated Ben Alloway by submission in the opening round. He was expected to face Sergio Moraes at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale, but was forced off the card due to injury. He was then expected to face Alberto Mina at The Ultimate Fighter: China Finale, but weighed in eight pounds over the welterweight limit and the fight was scratched from the card.