We covered the reduction of the huge upcoming heavyweight co-main occasion for UFC Fight Night 76 yesterday with the statement that Stipe Miocic has been forced to back from his struggle from Ben Rothwell, but there’s more to the story and a few other struggle announcements/injuries to go over today. UFC appears to be searching for a short notice replacement for Miocic to step in and fight Rothwell in Dublin, and a couple of notable names put their names into the ring. The very first was Matt Mitrione, that had been battling very well against Rothwell before this season before diving right into a takedown attempt that got him filed immediately via guillotine choke. Mitrione wouldn’t likely be the first option due to his quick defeat, but he’s a case considering his appetite for redemption. The largest issue with Mitrione right now is the fact he’s currently booked to combat Travis Browne in January. Another and most intriguing replacement chance came from out of left field as world class kickboxer Tyrone Spong requested an opportunity to fight Rothwell. Spong, who now trains together with the Blackzilians at Boco Ratan, has made a name for himself as perhaps the very best light heavyweight striker in the world with a kickboxing record of 74-7-1 with one no contest. His mixed martial arts credentials, however, are much more sparse. Spong is now 2-0 at MMA, with just two victories under the World collection of Fighting banner, even though he hasn’t fought an MMA bout in over two years and hasn’t competed professionally in any battle sport since suffering a leg injury against Gokhan Saki 18 months ago. The biggest issue here will be money, as I am convinced signing Spong to a UFC deal on short notice would not come cheap. In other accident replacement information… Justin Lawrence vs Emmanuel Sanchez — Bellator 145 Regrettably, an accident to former two-time Bellator champion Pat Curran has forced him from his fight against Justin Lawrence just over three months before his departure was set to happen. In steps Emmanuel Sanchez, a 25-year older fighter out of the Roufusport Gym in Milwaukee with an 11-2 record overall. Sanchez is currently 3-1 under the Bellator banner, losing a choice to Curran already and most recently picked up a split decision victory over Henry Corrales two and a half weeks ago at Bellator 143. This will surely not be an easy for battle for Sanchez, especially on short notice and with such a fast turnaround. I’d expect Lawrence to be a moderate to heavy preferred by the time that the chances are drawn upward.
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