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UFC 167: After Natal’s Removal, Herman to Battle Leites

Ed Herman

Since Rafael Natal was moved from UFC 167 to a UFC Fight Night 31 battle with Tim Kennedy, Ed Herman was temporarily left without an opponent. Now the promotion has announced, however, that former middleweight contender Thales Leites will throw down with the TUF vet on November 16th.

The chain reaction was started when Michael Bisping had to withdraw from his UFC FN 30 bout with Mark Munoz due to an eye injury. Lyoto Machida, who was booked to fight Kennedy, was pulled from the “Fight for the Troops III” headliner to replace Bisping. Make sense?

Herman (21-9) is coming off a split decision win over Trevor Smith at UFC on FOX 8, which was an absolute barnburner and won “Fight of the Night.” Prior to that, “Short Fuse” was tapped out by “Jacare” Souza with a first round, Kimura at Strikeforce’s final event in January. The rugged middleweight has gone 3-1 with 1 no contest in his last five bouts.

Leites (21-4) reintroduced himself ton ‘UFC only’ fans in August, by working his way to a UD win over Tom Watson at UFC 163. The victory was the renowned grappler’s fourth in a row, and his first in the UFC since 2008. Leites was initially let go by the UFC in 2009, after his forgettable loss to Anderson Silva and a follow up defeat against Alessio Sakara.

So, thanks to Leites, the line-up for UFC 167 remains at 11 bouts. Of course, the Las Vegas bound card will feature welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre taking on Johny Hendricks in the main event.

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