Demian Maia has agreed to step in for an injured Vitor Belfort and will meet middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 112 on April 10 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the promotion announced on Friday.
Belfort underwent shoulder surgery this week for a chronic injury that had worsened in the last few months and expects a minimum four-month recovery.
Maia earned a unanimous decision against Dan Miller at UFC 109 last Saturday in Las Vegas. The 32-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has only one loss on his docket -- a sobering 21-second knockout at the hands of fellow contender Nate Marquardt at UFC 102 last August.
UFC 112 will also offer a lightweight title bout between B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar, as well as a featured welterweight matchup between former champion Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie.
Zuffa, the UFC’s parent company, recently sold a 10-percent stake to Flash Entertainment, an Abu Dhabi-based event management company that specializes in concerts, cultural and sport events and more.