An injury to former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine has forced officials to re-work plans for Jake Ellenberger.
Instead of competing at UFC 172 in April, Ellenberger will now fight in May at UFC 173 and get Robbie Lawler. The fight announcement was made Friday.
Lawler (22-10) is coming off a tough decision loss to Johny Hendricks for the vacant UFC welterweight title. The defeat snapped a three-fight win streak for “Ruthless,” who is in his second stint with the promotion.
Ellenberger (29-7) is 8-2 in his last 10 overall, but has split his last four fights. He defeated Nate Marquardt via knockout last year.
Below is the current lineup for UFC 173:
UFC Bantamweight Championship
Renan Barao (c) vs. T.J. Dillashaw
Heavyweight: Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic
Welterweight: Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger
Bantamweight: Francisco Rivera vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Lightweight: Tony Ferguson vs. Katsunori Kikuno
Lightweight: Jamie Varner vs. James Krause
Lightweight: Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Bantamweight: Chris Holdsworth vs. Kyung-Ho Kang
Lightweight: Al Iaquinta vs. Mitch Clarke
Lightweight: Anthony Njokuani vs. Vinc Pichel
Lightweight: Piotr Hallman vs. Yves Edwards
Featherweight: Sam Sicilia vs. Doo Ho Choi
Welterweight: Jingliang Li vs. Danny Mitchell
If you are the kind of person who rewinds live sports injuries when seeing them, this post is for you.
For those that turn away, scared of what they just saw, you probably want to click away from here before going any further.
UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks recently underwent surgery to repair a torn bicep muscle. His manager, Ted Ehrhardt, provided MMAFighting.com with before and after pictures of the injured muscle, and it’s not for the weak of stomach.
Continue on if you want, but be warned, the pictures are graphic.
Ariel Helwani was offering up all sorts of insider information on “UFC Tonight” Wednesday, including updates on champions Chris Weidman and Johny Hendricks.
Weidman was recently forced to postpone his planned title defense with Lyoto Machida to July after deciding on knee surgery. The UFC middleweight champion is expecting to be ready for the summer event.
“He’s in relatively good spirits. He’s been battling knee problems since high school. He’s had meniscal tears in both his knees since high school,” Helwani stated. “It’s something he’s been battling throughout his career. About every six months, the left one would get locked up. It just happened twice in the last week and swelled up and has been painful.
“So he decided get it cleaned up and get a scope of the left knee and while he was at it, he decided to get the right one cleaned out as well, which was operated on in high school. He’s having surgery on Tuesday.
“They’re anticipating a four-week recovery and don’t expect any problems to be ready for the fight on July 5.”
Hendricks, who won the welterweight title earlier this month, underwent surgery Monday on a torn bicep. He is targeting a return to action before the end of the year.
“He just had successful bicep surgery on Monday. He’s back home feeling good,” Helwani said. “He has a four-to-eight-week recovery and then right back to training, hoping to fight later this year.”
As for future fights, reports are circulating that Daniel Cormier will meet Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante on the same July card as Weidman-Machida, while Demian Maia will take on Mike Pierce in Brazil this May.
Chael Sonnen’s “love” for Wanderlei Silva could best be described as non-existent.
Since his feud with Anderson Silva years ago, Sonnen has made “The Axe Murderer” a target for his shots at Brazil and other Brazilian fighters.
With the contract signed for Sonnen and Silva to fight in May, he recently told Combate about a time during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 where the show was almost forced to be cancelled.
“He is so stupid…I’m so embarrassed for him,” Sonnen said. “He is a player of checkers. This mean that, ladies, you have one move at a time. If you are a chess player, I have to guess what you will do after I do something and plan my next move. I have to be three-or-four moves ahead.
“Here he comes, oh my God, he’s so stupid, and I’m not trying to insult you, stupid is a word of truth, he comes and says, ‘If you do not apologize for everything I said about Brazil, this show (will) not go ahead.’ When I refused, all he could do was give up. Then he gave up and the show stopped.”
Sonnen added that UFC president Dana White was called in an attempt to get Silva back to filming.
“I had to beg him to return,” he added. “In the end, he called a taxi and the taxi (came). The producer had to stop him in the taxi and (bring him back).”
If Dan Henderson doesn’t get Lyoto Machida, another Brazilian is ready and willing to take him on inside the Octagon.
Fabio Maldonado, winner of three straight, is asking for the chance to face the future hall of famer.
“I’m a big fan of Dan Henderson,” he wrote on Twitter. “It would be an honor and a dream to fight him.”
Maldonado (21-6) scored a decision over Gian Villante this past weekend, the same card that featured Henderson finishing Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
After three straight losses, including a TKO defeat to Glover Teixeira, Maldonado has rebounded with decisions over Villante, Joey Beltran and Roger Hollett.
— Fabio Maldonado (@MaldonadoMMA) March 25, 2014