UFC officials on Monday announced that Canadian striking specialist Chris Clements would step in to fill the slot vacated by Thiago Alves at UFC 149 in Calgary.
Alves was originally slated to face Yoshihiro Akiyama on the July 21 fight card, but was paired up with Siyar Bahadurzada when Akiyama fell out due to injury. Last week, it was Alves that had to withdraw, also suffering an injury.
So now Bahadurzada and Clements will square off in the Octagon at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Bahadurzada (21-4-1) is the first Afghan fighter to compete in the UFC. Known for his tremendous striking ability, Bahadurzada lived up to his reputation, knocking out former UFC welterweight title contender Paulo Thiago in his Octagon debut at UFC on Fuel TV 2 in Sweden earlier this year. He’s riding a seven-fight winning streak coming into this bout.
Clements (11-4) is on a five-fight streak himself, although he had to go to a split decision to get a win in his UFC debut. He earned that decision win over Keith Wisniewski at UFC 145 in Atlanta, and also has victories over UFC veterans Rich Clementi and Johnathan Goulet as part of his current streak.
Jose Aldo will defend his UFC featherweight title against Erik Koch in the UFC 149 main event. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is slated to fight in the co-main event, although he is currently without an opponent after Thiago Silva had to withdraw.