15 Oct [MMA] 
Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza steps in to face Marvin Vettori at UFC 256

Marvin Vettori will finally get his wish to fight a big name in the UFC.

Omari Akhmedov has been pulled from a planned matchup with Vettori (15-3-1 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC) at UFC 256, and Ronaldo Souza (26-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC) will instead step in to face the Italian middleweight on Dec. 12. MMA Junkie confirmed the change in plans after an initial post by Vettori’s coach on social media.

Akhmedov is expected to receive a different opponent, instead.

Since losing to UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in 2018, Vettori has won three in a row. Most recently, he submitted Karl Roberson in the first round at UFC on ESPN 10 in June. Prior to that, he picked up back-to-back decision wins over Cezar Ferreira and Andrew Sanchez.

“Jacare” Souza is enduring the roughest stretch of his career with losses in three of his past four fights. After knocking out Chris Weidman at UFC 230 in 2018, Souza has dropped back-to-back fights to Jack Hermansson and, most recently, Jan Blachowicz in November 2019 at UFC on ESPN+ 22. He was scheduled to face Uriah Hall at UFC 249 in May but was forced out due to a positive COVID-19 test.

With the change, the UFC’s Dec. 12 lineup now includes:

Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson – for women’s featherweight title Champ Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling – for bantamweight title Dwight Grant vs. Li Jingliang Ronaldo Souza vs. Marvin Vettori Mackenzie Dern vs. Virna Jandiroba Omari Akhmedov vs. opponent TBA