With Canadian TJ Laramie forced off this weekend’s UFC 268 card due to a MRSA infection, matchmakers have gone outside the promotion to find a replacement.
In the absence of Laramie, LFA featherweight champ Bruno Souza has been tapped to step in against highly-touted prospect Melsik Baghdasaryan at the New York event. MMA DNA was first to report news of the match-up, after Souza’s management announced on social media that he had joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship this week.
“Everything happens in the right time,” Souza responded.
Souza (10-1), who trains under the legendary Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, has been with LFA since 2019, and captured their vacant 145lb title back in August. He’ll forgo his chance to defend that belt, instead stepping in on barely a week’s notice against Baghdasaryan.
Melsik Baghdasaryan (6-1) impressed on the Contender Series last year. He really impressed earlier this year, as he finished his promotional debut against Collin Anglin care of a head kick.
UFC 268 takes place this Saturday, November 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. The card is headlined by a welterweight title fight rematch between champ Kamaru Usman and former interim champion Colby Covington. The co-main event sees gold on the line as well, as in another rematch, Rose Namajunas once again faces Weili Zhang.
The full UFC 268 card, as reported to date, is below.
Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Colby Covington – for the UFC welterweight championship
Rose Namajunas (c) vs. Zhang Weili – for the UFC strawweight championship
Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler
Shane Burgos vs. Billy Quarantillo
Frankie Edgar vs. Marlon Vera
Alex Pereira vs. Andreas Michailidis
Al Iaquinta vs. Bobby Green
Phil Hawes vs. Chris Curtis
Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Nassourdine Imavov
Ian Garry vs. Jordan Williams
Gian Villante vs. Chris Barnett
Melsik Baghdasaryan vs. Bruno Silva
CJ Vergara vs. Ode’ Osbourne