(Better get the next ice-pack ready. Photo courtesy of Yardbarker.)
Alright, let’s get to it…
— After an injury forced Josh Thomson to drop out of his Strikeforce rematch with Gilbert Melendez, a replacement has reportedly been found, according to The Fight Network. Taking on Melendez at Saturday’s "Shamrock vs. Diaz" event will be Rodrigo Damm, an 8-2 veteran of Bodog Fight and Sengoku. Damm hasn’t competed since last August, when he was choked out by Eiji Mitsuoka at Sengoku Fourth Battle.
— Winless since his WEC debut against Cub Swanson in December 2007, Jens Pulver will be given another chance to score a victory at WEC 41 (June 7th, Sacramento). Lil’ Evil will be facing 20-year-old up-and-comer Josh "The Fluke" Grispi (12-1), who has gone 2-0 in the WEC with first-round stoppages over Mark Hominick and Micah Miller. WEC 41 will be headlined by the rematch between Urijah Faber and Mike Brown.
— TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah has an opponent for his much-delayed return at UFC 101 (August 8th, Philadelphia). MMA Weekly confirms that Sadollah’s welterweight debut will come against Johny Hendricks, a 5-0 transfer from the WEC’s defunct 170-pound division who won a unanimous decision over Alex Serdyukov at WEC 39 last month. Also on the card will be another welterweight bout between Tamdan McCrory (who’s coming off a submission victory over Ryan Madigan at UFC 96 in March) and John Howard (who most recently won a Fight of the Night bonus for his split-decision victory over Chris Wilson at UFC 94 in January). UFC 101 will be headlined by the lightweight title scrap between BJ Penn and Kenny Florian.
— Following his nine-month steroid suspension, Chris Leben will try (again) to redeem himself in the Octagon at UFC 102 (August 29th; Portland, Oregon), where he’ll take on Jake Rosholt. Another WEC acquisition, Rosholt didn’t waste any time in losing his UFC debut, suffering a 63-second guillotine-choke loss to Dan Miller at UFC Fight Night 17 in February. Loser leaves town?
— And finally, one fighter who won’t be competing any time soon is Josh Koscheck. Though he was scheduled to face Chris Wilson at UFC 98 (May 23rd, Las Vegas), a broken toe has forced Kos to withdraw from the bout. No word yet on when he’ll be able to return, or if Wilson will be getting a replacement opponent.