Gegard Mousasi has found a replacement opponent for UFC Fight Night 83 in London.
Originally scheduled to face Michael Bisping in the main event at the O2 Arena on Feb. 27, Mousasi was later replaced by former middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Left without an opponent, Mousasi now faces one-time title contender Thales Leites in the co-main event.
Mousasi last fought at UFC Fight Night 75 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. He suffered a second-round TKO to former Ultimate Fighter phenom Uriah Hall after dominating much of the first round with grappling superiority. Prior to the loss, the former Strikeforce titleholder had won two consecutive matches against Costas Philippou and Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 66 and UFC on FOX 14, respectively.
A seemingly rejuvenated Leites comes in having won eight of his last 10. Previously seen as a bit of a one-dimensional fighter who leaned on his skills as a masterful BJJ practitioner, Leites earned back-t0-back TKO finishes in 2014. He’s defeated the likes of Tim Boetsch, Francis Carmont, Nate Marquardt and Ed Herman.
As noted, UFC Fight Night 83 is headlined by a five-round middleweight contest between Silva and Bisping. Silva, who was suspended 12 months after multiple drug tests for steroids, has not fought since January 2015. “The Count,” meanwhile, last defeated Leites in a five-round split decision in July. Bisping is 3-2 in his last five contests, with his losses coming against newly crowned middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and No. 6-ranked 185-pound contender Tim Kennedy.
The event will be broadcast exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.