With Joe Riggs (40-14 MMA, 4-4 UFC) forced to withdraw from a planned UFC Fight Night 51 meeting with Paulo Thiago (15-7 MMA, 5-7 UFC), Sean Spencer (11-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has agreed to step in and take his place.

UFC officials today announced the change.

Featuring a heavyweight matchup between Andrei Arlovski and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, UFC Fight Night 51 takes place Sept. 13 at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil. The entire event streams on UFC Fight Pass.

Riggs was also a replacement opponent after stepping in for an injured Mike Rhodes to face Thiago. However, Riggs was involved in a gun accident with non-life threatening injuries and was also forced to withdraw from the bout.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Spencer now steps in to take the fight.

Spencer fought most recently at March’s UFC 171 event, where he lost a hard-fought split decision to highly touted prospect Alex Garcia. Spencer was expected to return in June, but a last-second injury to his opponent forced the bout to be scrapped.

Spencer traveled to Brazil in September 2013, when he scored a split-decision win over Yuri Villefort.

With the change to the card, UFC Fight Night 51 now includes:

  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Antonio Silva
  • Piotr Hallmann vs. Gleison Tibau
  • Lukasz Sajewski vs. Leonardo Santos
  • Sergio Moraes vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
  • Igor Araujo vs. George Sullivan
  • Jessica Andrade vs. Valerie Letourneau
  • Dashon Johnson vs. Godofredo Pepey
  • Efrain Escudero vs. Francisco Trinaldo
  • Sean Spencer vs. Paulo Thiago
  • Johnny Bedford vs. Rani Yahya

For more on UFC Fight Night 51, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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