Eryk Anders Replaces Jimi Manuwa in UFC Sao Paulo Main Event

Eryk Anders, UFC Belem
Eryk Anders, UFC Belem Credit: Foto Arena LTDA/Alamy Live News

‘Ya Boi’ is stepping up, and stepping in, to salvage the UFC Sao Paulo main event: Eryk Anders will face Thiago Santos on just six days notice.

The UFC Sao Paulo main event has undergone another change. Originally set to feature Glover Teixeira vs. Jimi Manuwa, the headliner was dealt a blow when Teixeira was forced off the card. The UFC then recruited Thiago Santos, moving up to light heavyweight for the bout. Now, due to an undisclosed injury, Manuwa is also off the card. In comes another middleweight, Eryk Anders, who takes the bout on six days notice. MMA Junkie was first to report the news, which Anders seemingly confirmed on Twitter, retweeting a handful of articles on the news, and commenting that “scared money don’t make money.”

In the past, Anders has noted that he prefers short notice fights, and this is far from his first foray in that area. It will also mark his second main event bout this year: Anders headlined UFC Belem, also in Brazil, against Lyoto Machida. He lost that by split decision, in Machida’s home town. The fight easily could have gone the other way.

A former Cleveland Brown and Calgary Stampeder who attended the University of Alabama, Anders (11-1) made the switch to MMA, going on an impressive amateur run before turning pro. Bouncing back from the Machida loss with a Performance of the Night knockout win over Tim Williams at UFC Lincoln last month, Anders will enter the octagon for the third time this year.

In Thiago Santos (18–6), Anders will meet a fellow middleweight venturing up in weight. Santos is coming off a win over Kevin Holland at UFC 227. Prior to that, he was knocked out by David Branch at UFC Atlantic City. He’s 5-1 in his last six in the UFC.

UFC Sao Paulo takes place Saturday, September 22 at the Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The UFC has yet to officially announce the latest change to the main event.