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Ruiz or Boetsch at UFC 81?

So maybe David Heath will fight at UFC 81 after all. It was widely reported yesterday that David Heath was being dropped from the February 2nd card due to the lack of time to find an opponent. Heath was left alone in the octagon after Tomasz Drwal dropped out because of a knee injury. Well, looks like two fighters have risen to the challenge.

MMA Weekly is saying that Heath will fight Anthony “El Toro” Ruiz on the card, keeping the night at nine fights. Ruiz would be making his debut for the UFC. El Toro has been somewhat of a journeyman in his career and has been impressive in recent years. After three straight losses back in 2005 he has gone 11-2, including winning his last six fights in a row. Heath wouldn’t be the first UFC talent he’s faced, either. He beat Brad Imes – TUF 2 finalist – at the Palace Fighting Championship event last week. He also won via TKO against Bobby Southworth back in November.

But shortly after that report came out, the UFC claimed otherwise:

February 2nd’s UFC 81 card in Las Vegas is back up to a full slate of nine fights after Pennsylvania light heavyweight prospect Tim Boetsch agreed to step into the Octagon to face David Heath. Boetsch (6-1 in pro MMA) replaces Tomasz Drwal, who was forced to withdraw from the Heath bout due to injury.

Regardless of whichever dude fights the Tulsa, Oklahoma native – and we’ll go with the UFC’s statement on this one – the fighters will be on the undercard of the show. UFC 81 has co-main events scheduled: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia, and the highly anticipated – possible let-down – debut of Brock Lesnar. Lesnar and his lame tattoo will step into the cage against Frank Mir.

Ruiz would have been great to see. Tim Boetsch was riding a six fight win streak when he lost a decision to Vladimir Matyushenko at an IFL event last August. Although credit to him for taking the IFL fight just a week after winning at EC 81. He’s only been a pro since late 2006 and has the tools to start climbing the ladder in the UFC. We’d rather have El Toro, but Boetsch won’t lay down and could make for a good fight against Heath.

We’ll keep you updated if a third fighter is rumored to be fighting Heath. Seems a lot of guys want a piece of him. Or maybe they just have bills to pay.

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