Former International Fight League light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko will lock horns with Jason Brilz at UFC 129 “St. Pierre vs. Shields” on April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Matyushenko (Pictured) replaces unbeaten prospect Phil Davis, who was moved into the main event slot at UFC Fight Night 24 in March.
Brilz confirmed the news to Sherdog.com on Monday. MMAJunkie.com was first to report the proposed matchup, which has not been finalized by the promotion.
Matyushenko has not competed since UFC 122 in November, when he stopped Alexandre Ferreira on first-round punches and elbows at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany. The 40-year-old Belarusian has won four of his last five fights, losing only to top light heavyweight contender Jon Jones in that span. Matyushenko has proven himself one of the sport’s most consistent performers, having never lost back-to-back fights in his 13-year career. A decorated amateur wrestler, he won two national championships at the junior college level.
Brilz last appeared at UFC 114 in May, when he dropped a controversial split decision to the heavily favored Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 35-year-old Bismarck, N.D., native wrestled collegiately at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he now serves as an assistant coach. Brilz has secured half (nine) of his 18 career victories by submission. He owns a 3-2 mark inside the Octagon.
A welterweight title bout between longtime champion Georges St. Pierre and top contender Jake Shields will headline UFC 129, which will air live on pay-per-view. Organizers expect the event to shatter attendance records.
Mike Whitman contributed to this report.