UFC 131 was never going to be remembered as the most stacked event of the year, but it did have a lot of crowd-pleasing names on it. Then, Brock Lesnar fell ill with a flare-up of diverticulitis, TUF 11 winner Court McGee tweaked his knee in training, and Mac Danzig‘s chest injury snubbed out a compelling bang-up with Donald Cerrone. Throw in injury withdrawals from supporting players Anthony Perosh and Rani Yahya, and you’re left with a ghost-ship of a card that’s making Joe Silva work double-shifts.
Now, just days before the third UFC event in three weeks, the card continues to lose bodies. Due to an undisclosed injury*, Croatian light-heavyweight Igor Pokrajac has been forced to withdraw from his fight against Krzysztof Soszynski, and will be replaced on short notice by Mike Massenzio. (Pokrajac was already an injury replacement for Anthony Perosh, which means that this UFC 131 injury curse has affected K-Sos as much as anybody.)
Best known as a middleweight, Massenzio was released by the UFC last year following consecutive stoppage losses to CB Dollaway and Brian Stann. He last competed on April 29th, scoring a 2nd round TKO over Nate Kittredge at a Combat Zone MMA event in New Hampshire.
In related news, a training injury has forced welterweight contender Martin Kampmann out of his scheduled bout against John Howard at UFC on Versus 4 (June 26th, Pittsburgh). Replacing him will be TUF 7 vet Matt Brown, who was slated to face Rich Attonito on the same card; Daniel Roberts will now come in to face Attonito. It’s a do-or-die fight for Brown, who has lost his last three fights — all by second-round submission.
Previously: The 10 Most Cursed MMA Events of All Time