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Old 03-28-2014, 09:50 PM
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kevint13 kevint13 is offline
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Default Ellenberger vs. Lawler booked for UFC 173


LAS VEGAS – A training injury has forced Tarec Saffiedine (15-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) to bow out of next month’s UFC 172 event in Baltimore. With his intended opponent scrapped, Jake Ellenberger (29-7 MMA, 8-3 UFC) will now shift to May’s UFC 173 fight card, where he’ll meet fellow welterweight Robbie Lawler (22-10, 7-4).

MMAjunkie and USA TODAY Sports today confirmed the changes with UFC President Dana White.

Headlined by bantamweight title fight between champion Renan Barao and challenger T.J. Dillashaw, UFC 173 takes place May 24 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Ellenberger vs. Lawler matchup airs on the evening’s five-fight pay-per-view main card (10 p.m. ET) and follows preliminary-card bouts on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.

It’s the second time a planned Ellenberger vs. Saffiedine bout has been nixed. The two were expected to meet at a January event in Singapore, but Ellenberger suffered a hamstring injury in training and was replaced by Hyun Gyu Lim.

The hard-hitting Ellenberger returns to the cage for the first time since a lackluster July loss to perennial contender Rory MacDonald. Still, the 29-year-old Nebraskan – who currently lives and trains in Lake Forest, Calif. – is 8-2 in his past 10 outings and is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings.

Meanwhile, Lawler, who’s ranked No. 10, looks to rebound from a failed bid at the UFC’s welterweight title after. Earlier this month, he dropped a thrilling five-round decision to now-champ Johny Hendricks in a “Fight of the Year” candidate. An Iowan who now trains with Florida’s American Top Team, the 32-year-old Lawler boasts nearly 13 years of professional experience.

A timetable for Saffiedine’s return to action wasn’t immediately established, but he’s expected to know more after a doctor’s visit next week. The nature of the injury wasn’t immediately revealed.

The latest UFC 173 card now includes:

Champ Renan Barao vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for UFC bantamweight title
Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic
Jake Ellenberger vs. Robbie Lawler
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Francisco Rivera
Tony Ferguson vs. Katsunori Kikuno
James Krause vs. Jamie Varner
Chris Holdsworth vs. Kyung Ho Kang
Mitch Clarke vs. Al Iaquinta
Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Anthony Njokuani vs. Vinc Pichel
Yves Edwards vs. Piotr Hallmann
Doo Ho Choi vs. Sam Sicilia
Jingliang Li vs. Danny Mitchell
This is a great fight for Robbie. Jake has basically the same style as Johny did, but Johny is much better and much more dangerous. Robbie by KO.
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