("The creepy guy behind the ring? Don’t worry Rachelle, that’s just James McSweeney. He’ll probably ask you for a lock of your hair before you leave, but he’s cool." / Photo courtesy of twitter.com/nathanmarquardt)
– Though Nate Marquardt and Alessio Sakara were slated to meet at UFC 116 in July, Sakara has postponed his Octagon return due to the death-forces-alessio-sakara-out-of-ufc-116-august-return-possible.mma?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+mmajunkie+%28MMAjunkie.com+Feed%29&utm_content=Google+Reader”>recent death of his father. So, the UFC did some re-shuffling and came up with the following: Sakara will now compete at UFC 118 (August 28th, Boston) against Jorge Rivera, who picked up his third-straight win in March when he wrecked Nate Quarry. As for Marquardt, he will also likely return in August (either UFC 118 or UFC 117), against Rousimar Palhares, who you may know as the asshole who holds his submissions for too long.
– Speaking of the UFC’s Boston show, hometown kid Joe Lauzon will try to rebound from his lopsided decision loss against Sam Stout when he meets up with British contender Terry Etim. Etim had a four-fight UFC win-streak snapped last month in Abu Dhabi when he fell to an armbar submission against Rafael Dos Anjos.
– In other news, Brian Stann is getting ready to make his middleweight debut after being run out of the light-heavyweight division by rising prospect Phil Davis. Stann will reportedly face Mike Massenzio at UFC on Versus 2, August 1st in Salt Lake City. Due to injuries, Massenzio hasn’t competed since his first-round TKO loss to CB Dollaway at The Ultimate 2008.
– According to MMA Junkie, Chris Leben will make his next cage-appearance at the TUF 11 finale (June 19th, Las Vegas) against fellow middleweight Aaron Simpson. Following back-to-back losses against Michael Bisping and Jake Rosholt, Leben saved his job with a decision win over Jay Silva at Maynard vs. Diaz in January. Simpson (7-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is coming off his Fight of the Night performance against Tom Lawlor at the same event. Other matches that will support the Hamill vs. Jardine headliner include Spencer Fisher vs. Dennis Siver, and James McSweeney vs. undefeated ass-kicker Travis Brown.