MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: UFC on FOX 9 Card Gets Shuffled

Jamie Varner The UFC on FOX 9 card is still arguably the best on paper all year long, but in the past few days there has been a number of injuries that have shuffled the card’s lineup. On the weekend, UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis pulled out of his title defence against Josh Thomson, a bout that was scheduled for the main event of the evening. Pettis has a knee injury that won’t allow him to wrestle during training, and thus he wouldn’t be able to fight in six weeks against a top-level wrestler like Thomson. I still expect Pettis to fight Thomson in his next title defence, and I have a feeling that could take place at January’s UFC on FOX 10 event. Because of this change, the UFC pulled the flyweight title fight between Joseph Benavidez and champion Demetrious Johnson off the TUF 18 Finale card and moved it to the main event of UFC on FOX 9. Now, Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard will headline the TUF 18 Finale, although it should be noted that fight will only be scheduled for three rounds since neither man was preparing for a five-round bout. But the change didn’t stop there. On Tuesday, UFC lightweight Jamie Varner announced on his Twitter that he tore his rotator cuff in training and that he has been forced to pull out of his UFC on FOX 9 match against Pat Healy. This is very disappointing news as the fight between Varner and Healy promised to be a barnburner, but hopefully the UFC can find a replacement soon enough. I’m thinking Bobby Green, who recently TKOed James Krause with a body kick at UFC Fight Night 31, would make a suitable replacement. As well, TUF 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum has a torn PCL and he’s been forced to pull out of his fight against TUF 11 winner Court McGee. This was another fight I was really looking forward to watching so I’m very disappointed by this new of Gastelum’s injury, but this is a young fighter and he definitely made the right choice to pull out and not risk damaging his body further. For a replacement opponent for McGee, the UFC should consider booking Brandon Thatch, who recently submitted Paulo Thiago with strikes at UFC Fight Night 32. Even with all these changes, though, UFC on FOX 9 is still one of the most stacked cards of the year and with fights like Matt Brown vs. Carlos Condit, Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald and Chad Mendes vs. Nik Lentz also scheduled for the card, the card is still looking amazing.

Written by Adam Martin.

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