A training injury has knocked Justin Salas (10-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) out of a preliminary-card fight against Edson Barboza (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) at "UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping" later this month.
Stepping in for Salas is UFC newcomer Lucas Martins (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Sources close to the promotion on Wednesday confirmed the news to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC on FX 7 takes place Jan. 19 at Ginasio Estadual Geraldo Jose de Almeida, also known as Ginasio do Ibirapuera, in San Paulo, Brazil. It will be the UFC's first trip to Sao Paulo. The main card airs on FX in the U.S. and features a middleweight fight between Vitor Belfort (21-10 MMA, 10-6 UFC) and Michael Bisping (23-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC).
Martins just this past month won a pair of fights in Sao Paulo in less than a week's time. He submitted Thiago Sampaio with a first-round rear-naked choke in 43 seconds on Dec. 8, then turned around and stopped Oberdan Vieira Tenorio with a head-kick knockout on Dec. 13 under the Jungle Fight banner.
Those two wins made him 9-0 in 2012 – with eight coming by stoppage. Only one of his 11 pro fights has gone the distance. Martins has been pro for only 16 months.
MAIN CARD (FX)
Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping
C.B. Dollaway vs. Daniel Sarafian
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ben Rothwell
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Thiago Tavares
PRELIMINARY CARD (FUEL TV, Facebook)
Godofredo Castro vs. Milton Vieira
Andrew Craig vs. Ronny Markes
Nik Lentz vs. Diego Nunes
Edson Barboza vs. Justin Salas
Yuri Alcantara vs. George Roop
Roger Hollett vs. Wagner Prado
Francisco Trinaldo vs. C.J. Keith