(And they *still* couldn’t find Nick Diaz. Photo via Esporte.)
The hits just keep a’ comin, Potato Nation.
Just days after we informed you that two fighters were forced to withdraw from UFC 163 due to
a crippling fear of Brazilians injury, word has been passed along that Brazilian action movie character Paulo Thiago has been forced to withdraw from his fight with TUF 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum, scheduled for UFC Fight Night: Kampmann vs. Condit II, due to a knee injury. While Gastelum is currently without a replacement opponent for his welterweight debut, the one good thing we can take away from all this is that the UFC has already decided to abandon the “UFC on FOX Sports 1:2/XVII — 01101001″ formula in favor of the much simpler “Fight Night.” Yay….
As is usually the case when dealing with these injury reports, it’s time to start speculating. Was it a simple training injury that led to Thiago’s withdrawal? Please. PTSD related to that INSANE apartment complex raid he was involved in? Perhaps. Was Whitey Bulger involved somehow? Oh, you can bet your bottom dollar he was.
Replacing Thiago will be Brian Melancon, the Bellator and Strikeforce veteran who scored a massive upset in his UFC debut when he knocked out Seth Baczynski in the first round of their Facebook prelim fight at UFC 162. Currently 7-2 in professional competition, Melancon will be riding a two-fight win streak when he heads into battle against Gastelum. No word yet on whether or not the replacement of Thiago will shuffle the fight off the main card, but considering the undercard, we’re going to go with a big “HELLLLLL no.”
The current lineup for “UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann II” is below.
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
-Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann
-Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael dos Anjos
-Kelvin Gastelum vs. Brian Melancon
-Sarah Kaufman vs. Sara McMann
-Court McGee vs. Robert Whittaker
-Robert McDaniel vs. Brad Tavares
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 2, 6 p.m. ET)
-Takeya Mizugaki vs. Erik Perez
-Papy Abedi vs. Dylan Andrews
-Justin Edwards vs. Brandon Thatch
-Darren Elkins vs. Hatsu Hioki
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 4:30 p.m. ET)
-James Head vs. Jason High
-Ben Alloway vs. Zak Cummings
-Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo