The UFC announced overnight that Simpson will now meet Ultimate Fighter 11 competitor Brad Tavares on the card, which comes to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on July 2.
Tavares holds an undefeated record at 7-0, winning both of his fights inside the Octagon. He was technically submitted by Team Liddell teammate and eventual season winner Court McGee in the semifinals of that season's tournament, but as those bouts are considered exhibitions it doesn't count against his record. In the UFC, he has defeated Seth Baczynski by decision and Phil Baroni by knockout. All of his wins, save for the Baczynski fight, have come by stoppage.
Simpson recently bounced back from a two fight losing streak with a win over Mario Miranda in March. A late entrant into the sport of mixed martial arts, taking his first career fight at 33, the now 36-year-old Simpson holds an 8-2 record into this fight.
He won his first three fights in the UFC, winning two "Fight of the Night" bonuses in the process, but was at risk of being cut from the roster after posting 2010 losses to Chris Leben and Mark Munoz. The Miranda win, however, steered him back in the right direction, and he'll be out to continue that momentum in Las Vegas.
UFC 132 is headlined by a UFC Bantamweight Championship fight between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, and airs live on pay-per-view.
Penick's Analysis: Tavares is a solid replacement fight on just over a month's notice. He hits hard, and has shown some promise in his first couple of UFC fights. Though one of those was a win over a Phil Baroni that shouldn't have been in the UFC at that point, Tavares handled him fairly easily, and he'll be a definite test for Simpson. Simpson wants to get a couple of wins strung together after that two-fight losing streak last year, and though a win over Tavares won't be as big as one over Miller may have been, it will still be a needed win this year to keep him on the roster.