Although initial reports claimed that Ed Herman would be stepping in for the injured Yushin Okami against Dan Miller at UFC 98 (May 23rd, Las Vegas), there’s been another change in plans. It seems that Herman has declined the fight — likely because he just competed at UFC 97 and the five-week turnaround would be too short — and Okami’s actual replacement will be Herman’s Team Quest teammate Chael Sonnen.
Sonnen was most recently submitted by Demian Maia in his UFC return fight in February, which dropped his overall Octagon record to 1-3. The WEC/Bodog vet was slated to face Wilson Gouveia at UFC 102 (August 29th; Portland, Oregon) and still hopes to take that fight if his scrap with Dan Miller goes well. Though considering Miller’s skill with submissions (and Sonnen’s tendency to get submitted), Sonnen may be out of a job by this summer.
In other news…
— After compiling an official record of 0-2 in the Octagon, TUF 8 finalist Vinny Magalhaes has been released by the UFC. The BJJ specialist sliced through Lance Evans, Jules Bruchez, and Krzysztof Soszynski in the season’s light-heavyweight bracket, but lost to Ryan Bader via TKO in the finals, then dropped a unanimous decision to Eliot Marshall at UFC 97. Magalhaes’s overall MMA record now stands at 2-4 with 1 no-contest.
— To prepare for his must-win fight against Nate Diaz at the TUF 9 finale on June 20th, Joe Stevenson will be leaving his homebase of Cobra Kai to train at the Jackson’s MMA camp in Albuquerque. “We both agreed it would be better if he moved on and try to change a little bit so he can continue to stay in the UFC,” said Stevenson’s head trainer, Irvin Bounds. Speaking of Greg Jackson, the gameplan-guru thought Anderson Silva‘s UFC 97 fight against Thales Leites was totally sweet.
— And speaking of fighters trying out new camps, TUF 8 lightweight winner Efrain Escudero is taking some time off from Southwest MMA to train with the Nogueira brothers at their new gym in Miami. Escudero is slated to face Cole Miller at UFC 103 in September.