(Sakara and Etim, the latest victims of the UFC’s brand-new curse.)
After losing Phil Baroni and Jorge Rivera due to injuries, UFC 118 (August 28, Boston) is inching towards "cursed" status with another pair of late withdrawals that have completely re-arranged the Spike TV prelim broadcast. First off, Alessio Sakara has been forced out of his fight against Gerald Harris due to a knee injury. Harris, who was originally a replacement for Rivera, will now face the returning Joe Vedepo, who has won four straight fights by stoppage outside of the UFC since being released in April 2009. Unfortunately, the fight is no longer slated for the Spike broadcast, meaning that Harris will need another dramatic stoppage to get some TV time. At this point, it hasn’t been confirmed which fight will move up to the prelim broadcast in its place.
The injury fairy also paid a visit to Terry Etim, who bows out of his UFC 118 fight against Joe Lauzon due to a broken rib. Lauzon will instead meet — get this — Gabe "Godzilla" Ruediger, the TUF 5 contestant who became a national punchline due to his love of colonics and ice cream cake, and was eventually dismissed from the show for not making weight. More recently, Ruediger has built up a six-fight win streak competing in California, picked up the Tachi Palace Fights lightweight title, and has helped turn Paris Hilton into a killing machine.
We’ll let you know as soon as UFC 118′s lineup is finalized.