Igor Pokrajac Fills in for Vera, Fights Thiago Silva at UFC on FX 3

Light heavyweights set for May 15 bout in Virginia

With Brandon Vera injured and out of his rematch with Thiago Silva, Igor Pokrajac will step up for the fight.

Vera and Silva had been scheduled to meet on May 15 in Fairfax, Va., at UFC on FX 3. The fight was to be a rematch of their UFC 125 bout last year, which Silva won by dominant unanimous decision – only to have the win overturned to a no contest when he tested positive after the fight and admitted to using steroids. The UFC announced the fight a week ago, but just three days later Vera was announced as out with an injury.

Pokrajac (24-8, 3-3 UFC) has won two straight since a unanimous decision loss to Stephan Bonnar in December 2010. Last March, he stopped Todd Brown with a first-round TKO, then followed that up with a 35-second knockout of Krzystof Soszynski at UFC 140 in December.

Silva (14-2, 1 NC, 5-2, 1 NC UFC) will return for the first time since serving a one-year suspension handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission last year. Silva was found to have submitted a false urine sample, and when caught admitted to using steroids prior to the fight with Vera on the Jan. 1 card. Prior to that fight, Silva had lost two of three fights, both to former or future light heavyweight champions in Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida.

UFC on FX 3 will be the promotion’s second trip to the Patriot Center in Fairfax, a western suburb of Washington, D.C. The UFC’s first show there was in January 2010 for a Fight Night card headlined by Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard. The UFC visited Washington proper in October for a show on the Versus cable channel.

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