Like most major events this year, UFC 155 has taken its lumps. First it was Chris Weidman who was bitten by that filthy Gypsy Curse whore, now it’s Forrest Griffin. In Weidman’s case, the UFC was able to replace him with Constantinos Philippou to face Tim Boetsch. And while the fight may no longer carry the same title implications, it’s a very suitable substitute. In Forrest’s case, it’s unclear at this point whether the UFC is going to be able to find an alternate to step in against Phil Davis, or just scrap the fight altogether.
Those are two considerable hits. Luckily, we have such selfless fighters as Joe Lauzon, who has taken to Twitter to generously lobby for his fight with Jim Miller to fill the void.
Unless the UFC can find a substantial name to step in on short notice against Davis, Lauzon has a fairly decent chance of getting his wish. The only competition to the spot would be Alan Belcher vs Yushin Okami, and we know how the UFC rolls when in comes to Okami – if he wasn’t fighting Belcher, who is a very exciting fighter that they want to promote as a viable contender, they’d have probably buried poor Yush on the undercard.
Lauzon has a legitimate claim as the most exciting fighter in the game. Win or lose, he has only gone to decision once in 29 fights, and picked up 11 FOTN bonuses along the way. Miller is a fairly adept finisher in his own right, with 15 of his 21 victories coming before the final buzzer, and four FOTN checks stuffing his pockets. So if we were going on the excitement factor alone, the smart money would be on Lauzon and Miller to get that coveted spot.
But it isn’t all about that. They have to balance out the card. And higher-weight fighters tend to get more consideration. My guess is they’ll promote Okami and Belcher, strictly on the basis that a high profile win against Okami would legitimize Belcher as a contender, whereas an exciting fight is an exciting fight, no matter where it resides on the main card. Not to mention when you’re closing hard with Dos Santos vs Velasquez you may actually want to keep the guarenteed barn-burners in the middle.
As it stands now, here’s how 155 is looking:
- Junior Dos Santos vs Cain Velasquez (for the UFC heavyweight championship)
- Tim Boetsch vs Constantinos Philippou
- Joe Lauzon vs Jim Miller
- Yushin Okami vs Alan Belcher
If they find a replacement for Forrest, Davis will remain on the main card, regardless of his opponent. If they scrap the fight, they’ll promote either Chris Leben vs Carlos Vemola or Todd Duffee vs Phil De Fries, and the edge goes to the Duffman as heavyweights who look like He-Man action figures are just good for business.