(Photo courtesy of Spike.com.)
With Houston Alexander out of UFC 98 due to a hand injury, it has been announced that "The Polish Experiment" will be stepping in to replace him against Andre Gusmao. Krzysztof Soszynski is 2-0 in the UFC since his stint on TUF 8, with both of his wins by kimura submission; he most recently took out Brian Stann at UFC 97 last month, meaning he’s only getting a five-week turnaround between fights. Gusmao, on the other hand, hasn’t fought since he dropped a unanimous decision to Jon Jones in his UFC debut last August. Will the longer break be a benefit for Gusmao, or will the Brazilian get armlocked out of his UFC contract?
In other Octagon news…
Veteran UFC middleweight Jason MacDonald has been released from his contract, according to his own column for sportsnet.ca. MacDonald’s first-round loss to Nate Quarry at UFC 97 was his third defeat in his last four atempts, and dropped his overall UFC record to 5-5. Wrote MacDonald: "I’m obviously very disappointed. But I’m not at all angry with the UFC. I’m well aware of the fact that I’m paid to perform…the most disappointing thing is not only that I was let go, but how poorly I performed that night, in Canada, in front of all my Canadian fans." MacDonald named the MFC and Strikeforce as organizations he’d like to fight for next.
MMA Junkie has also confirmed that David Loiseau has been cut by the UFC (again) after losing his return fight to Ed Herman at UFC 97, while Bloody Elbow also names Ryo Chonan and David Bielkheden as members of the newly-unemployed. If those reports are true, it would mean that five of the 12 fighters who lost their matches at UFC 97 were fired afterwards (i.e., the guys mentioned above and Vinny Magalhaes). The number of fighters who are being forced into retirement after losing at UFC 97 is holding steady at one.