Junior Tafa In for Injured Justin Tafa Against Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC 298

UFC
February 17, 2024
Against all odds, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will still have 12 fights on the UFC 298 billing.

On Friday morning, the UFC announced during the UFC 298 weigh-in show that Justin Tafa had suffered an injury that would be keeping him from his heavyweight fight with Marcos Rogerio de Lima (21-9-1). An hour later, the promotion stated that it was working on a replacement fighter to keep Lima on the card. That fighter would be Tafa’s brother, Junior Tafa (5-1), who was cleared and allowed to weigh in and serve as the replacement. This is the first such occasion of one brother replacing another in organizational history, but not the first overall in the sport of MMA.

Lima stays on the lineup in hopes of putting a 33-second knockout loss to Derrick Lewis in July 2023 behind him. Before getting lamped by “The Black Beast,” the Brazilian had strung together two wins over Andrei Arlovski and Waldo Cortes-Acosta—while landing a rare submission on the former in quick fashion. The former light heavyweight has the unusual distinction of alternating wins and losses for 11 straight bouts in his UFC tenure, which remains a record tied with Jake Collier.

“The Juggernaut” steps in unexpectedly with a bit of momentum on his side, as he flattened Parker Porter in 2023 with one punch. The promotional debut of the 27-year-old did not go his way before the Porter match, as Mohammed Usman stifled him en route to a decision win. Tafa rumbled his way to the UFC with four knockouts in the span of less than six months in 2022, which also happens to be the year in which he made his pro MMA debut.

UFC 298 goes down at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, on Feb. 17. The main attraction will see Alexander Volkanovski defend his featherweight crown against Ilia Topuria. The co-featured matchup places former middleweight kingpin Robert Whittaker against Paulo Costa. The remainder of the main card draws a welterweight tilt between Geoff Neal and Ian Garry, a bantamweight clash pitting Merab Dvalishvili against Henry Cejudo and a wild one at 185 pounds when Anthony Hernandez faces Roman Kopylov.

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Junior-Tafa-In-for-Injured-Justin-Tafa-Against-Marcos-Rogerio-de-Lima-at-UFC-298-192636

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