The Ultimate Fighting Championship lineup has experienced another alteration with two weeks to go before UFC 295. Veteran flyweight Matt Schnell (16-7), who was scheduled to face rising contender Steve Erceg (10-1) on November 11th at Madison Square Garden, will no longer participate in the card for undisclosed reasons. Instead, the fight will now feature Brazilian prospect Alessandro Costa (13-3). This change was initially reported by Carlos Contreras Legaspi from ESPN Deportes on the weekend.
Schnell, who hasn’t competed since his second-round knockout loss to Matheus Nicolau at UFC on ESPN 42 last December, has only acquired victories in two of his last six matches, with all setbacks coming from top-tier fighters. On the other hand, Australian fighter Erceg successfully extended his eight-match winning streak to nine with a unanimous decision victory over David Dvorak in his promotional debut last June.
Erceg’s new contender, Costa suffered a third-round knock out loss to Amir Albazi during his promotional debut last December—an event which brought an end to his seven-fight winning streak. Despite the initial setback, the fighter known as “Nono” made a successful comeback with a second-round stoppage victory over Jimmy Flick in June. At UFC 295, Costa will compete alongside fellow Lobo Gym teammates, Diego Lopes and Lupita Godinez, with Lopes facing Pat Sabatini in the featherweight class and Godinez engaging in a strawweight matchup against Tabatha Ricci.
UFC 295 is slated to take place on November 11th at Madison Square Garden, New York City. With Jon Jones forced to withdraw from his scheduled heavyweight bout against Stipe Miocic due to a pectoral tear, the event will now be headlined by a clash for the vacant light heavyweight title between ex-champion Jiri Prochazka and former middleweight champ Alex Pereira. The new co-main event features a short-notice booking between English heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall and Russian knockout artist Sergei Pavlovich for the interim heavyweight title. According to Dana White, the match between Jones and Miocic will be rescheduled once Jones is fully recovered and gets the go-ahead to compete.