(Pierce celebrates after successfully thwarting Mario’s plans with a well-timed barrel.)
We here at CagePotato have literally taken every possible step in order to rid the MMA world of the great injury curse of 2012: we’ve prayed (lol!), we’ve had our cleaning lady Concepcion rid the office of evil spirits, we’ve resorted to Pagan rituals involving pentagrams, we’ve even had Rex track down “thisredengine” and sacrifice his virginal body to the Gods. And after all that fell flat, we tried to go Freddy Kruger on the curse and simply stop talking about it in the hopes that it would eventually just leave us be and move on to some other, less important sport. Like women’s ______.
But alas, our efforts were a complete failure. In the past few days, at least four fighters have come down with a case of the injury bug, leading to some small yet noticeable changes in several of the UFC’s upcoming cards. And we wonder why even Canadian fans are cautious to buy a ticket these days. (Author’s note: You see, Dana? THIS is what happens when you read from the Necronomicon. Side effects include nausea, meniere’s disease, Saturday night palsy, and possessed hand.)
We shall begin today’s trip down injury lane with Kyle Noke, who is coming off a first round blistering of Charlie Brenneman at UFC 152 that, although a little premature in its stoppage, led to “The Spaniard’s” current place in the Zuffa unemployment soup line. Noke was scheduled to face streaking Polish powerhouse Seth Baczynski at UFC on FX 6, but withdrew earlier this week. He has been replaced by Mike Pierce, who is on the heels of a come-from-behind KO of Aaron Simpson at UFC on FX 5. Baczynski is coming off a skull-shattering knockout win of his own against Simeon Thoreson at UFC 152, so expect fireworks here.
Next up, we have a welterweight matchup that features neither of its original participants, as everyone’s favorite stoner, Matt Riddle, and “butter-toothed Brit” John Maguire have stepped in to replace Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Besam Yousef, respectively, at UFC 154. Due to his positive test for marijuana, Riddle’s previous UFC 149 submission victory over Chris Clements was recently changed to a no-contest, moving his record to 1-2 1 NC in his past four fights. You could argue that Maguire is in an even worse position, however, despite the fact that he has only lost one of his three UFC bouts. That loss came to fellow Brit John Hathaway at UFC on FUEL 5 in the worst possible fashion: a dreadfully boring three round affair that was forgotten about before the judges could declare a winner. I blame the general politeness of the British for that one.
And in bantamweight injury news, TUF 14 runner-up T.J Dillashaw has been replaced in his upcoming UFC on FOX 5 bout against Mike Easton by fellow castmate Bryan Caraway. The Canadian has scored two straight rear-naked choke victories in the UFC since getting the tar beat out of him by Diego Brandao on the reality show, while Easton is coming off his third consecutive octagon victory over Ivan Menjivar at UFC 148. It’s an incredibly tough fight for “Kid Lightning,” but something tells us that the Caraway household could use the money right about now.