Thiago Silva has a new opponent.

According to MMA Weekly, Igor Pokrajac will step in for an injured Brandon Vera to take on Silva at UFC on FX 3.

With Brandon Vera sidelined due to injury, Thiago Silva will now face Croatian Igor Pokrajac at UFC on FX 3 in May.

Sources close to the fight confirmed the new bout to on Tuesday with bout agreements issued for the May 15 light heavyweight tilt.

Funny enough, it turns out Vera was injured all along, even when he accepted the fight. In a recent Facebook post, Vera explained that he was so excited about being offered the rematch, he accepted it without knowing if he would be fully recovered in time from an undisclosed injury. Transcription via

“I’ve been bugging my manager, I’ve been bugging [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva and the UFC, so as soon as Thiago Silva’s suspension was over and he was available, I would like to be the first one to fight him and get back in there with him. Kind of a welcome back thing. Finally the fight came, Joe said the fight can happen May 15th. My manager told me the fight is happening May 15th.

“Without thinking, without talking to my coaches, without talking to my doctors, I verbally said ‘Yes, I’m down for the fight, let’s do this, let’s get it done. I’m in.’ The next morning I went to my doctors after training and … they said there’s no way I’ll be ready by then, and I need to focus on getting better. So I sat down and was thinking, ‘Yeah, maybe those guys are right.’ So I didn’t check with my doctors, I didn’t check with my coaches.

“I still wanna fight you bad Thiago, Thiago, however you say your name juice monkey. I still wanna fight you bad. So whenever you’re ready, whenever I’m healthy enough, I’m your huckleberry.”

That might be a first. Well, at least the first time I’ve heard anyone admit it.

Image via Daniel Herbertson for Sherdog