According to Alan Belcher, the loss of UFC 153 opponent Vitor Belfort due to some recent card shuffling actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Belcher recently suffered a spinal fracture, so he won't remain on the Brazilian card with a replacement opponent.
Instead, officials announced a light-heavyweight rematch between Phil Davis (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Wagner Prado (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) originally targeted for UFC on FX 5 will now be part of UFC 153.
UFC 153 takes place Oct. 13 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook. Davis vs. Prado likely will take a main-card slot.
Belcher and Belfort also were slated for the main card, but following this week's UFC 151 cancellation and a revolving door of potential opponents for UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Belfort ultimately decided to move up a weight class and took a UFC 152 main-event slot opposite the champ.
"Everyone's asking if I am mad at @ufc @JonnyBones @vitorbelfort answer is no," Belcher tweeted on Friday. "This is a blessing in disguise. I have a spinal fracture."
Belcher then stated he'd like to fight Chris Weidman or another top contender upon his return in November.
Davis and Prado, meanwhile, first fought at UFC on FOX 4 earlier this month. However, the bout ended quickly and was declared a no-contest when Davis accidentally poked Prado in the eye and the Brazilian was declared unable to continue.
Prior to the no-contest, Davis suffered his first professional setback with a decision loss to Rashad Evans at UFC on FOX 2. Prior to the defeat, the former NCAA Division I champ had marched through the 205-pound division with five straight wins over such opponents as Brian Stann, Alexander Gustafsson, Tim Boetsch and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Prado brings an undefeated resume to his second UFC appearance with five of his seven wins coming in the first round. A member of Team Nogueira, he has been a regular on the Brazilian MMA scene, where he registered seven knockout stoppages in eight career wins.
The latest UFC 153 card now includes:
Champ Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch (for featherweight title)
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira
Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva
Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado
Demian Maia vs. Rick Story
Rony "Jason" Mariano Bezerra vs. Sam Sicilia
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Geronimo Dos Santos
Diego Brandao vs. Joey Gambino
Gleison Tibau vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Renee Forte vs. Sergio Moraes
Chris Camozzi vs. Luiz Cane
Reza Madadi vs. Cristiano Marcello