The light-heavyweight match between Matt Hamill and Brandon Vera — which was scheduled to open the broadcast of UFC 102 (August 29th, Portland) — has been canceled, as Hamill was forced to pull out of the fight due to a torn meniscus in his knee. Luckily, TUF 8 standout Krzysztof Soszynski was available to fill in, and he’ll be taking on Vera in Hamill’s place.
It’ll be gut-check time for both fighters. K-Sos has looked fantastic in his current 3-0 run in the UFC, taking out Shane Primm and Brian Stann by kimura and knocking out Andre Gusmao at UFC 98, but he needs a win over a bigger-name opponent to establish himself as a true contender in the division. Meanwhile, Brandon Vera has gone from hot heavyweight prospect to 205-pound question mark during his time in the Octagon. He most recently chopped down Mike Patt with leg kicks at UFC 96, which got him back to the W column after a previous split-decision loss against Keith Jardine. A win against Soszynski would prove that the Truth is still a factor; a loss solidifies his status as a gatekeeping can-crusher.
As for Hamill, his trainer Duff Holmes told MMA Junkie:
Video trailer for UFC 102 is below…