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A high-stakes Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight tilt has seen a change in opponent that should be no less exciting.
According to MMA Junkie on Thursday, Alex Perez has been forced out of his UFC 262 appearance on May 15. The reason for Perez’ withdrawal has not yet been disclosed. The event that will be held at the Toyota Center in Houston now sees Matt Schnell (15-5) take on Rogerio Bontorin (16-3, 1 NC) instead. The matchup has since been confirmed by Schnell on his Instagram page.
Brazil’s Bontorin will be looking to snap the first losing streak of his career, as he lost to Ray Borg in 2020 by decision, and was subsequently knocked out by Kai Kara France in March. The then-once-beaten Bontorin surged his way on to the Brazilian edition of Dana White's Contender Series in 2018, where he tapped out Gustavo Gabriel Silva in the second round to score a contract. Victories over Magomed Bibulatov and Raulian Paiva leapfrogged him into contention.
Schnell has won five of his last six dating back the last four years, with finishes over Jordan Espinosa and Louis Smolka notched along the way. Schnell’s path to contendership was derailed when Alexandre Pantoja knocked him out in the first round in 2019, but “Danger” bounced back over a year later to take a split verdict over Tyson Nam. Both Schnell and his new opponent Bontorin hold a majority of their career wins by submission, and each have tapped to chokes just once in their respective careers.
UFC 262 goes down on May 15 at the Toyota Center in Houston, in front of a sold-out crowd. The headliner comes in the form of a vacant lightweight title match between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. In a first for the promotion, the co-main event will also be a five-round affair, when Leon Edwards takes on Nate Diaz with no gold on the line.