With the recent injuries to Brian Stann, Thiago Silva and Michael Bisping, the UFC 149 fight card is starting to look really different.
UFC newcomer Hector Lombard was initially scheduled to face Stann in his debut. But he’ll now get to face Tim Boetsch – who was originally scheduled to face Bisping – at UFC 149, set for July 21 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Canada. Ironically, Lombard wanted Bisping as Stann’s replacement, calling out the brash British MMA fighter via Twitter.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – who was originally scheduled to headline UFC 149 against Thiago – has been moved off the fight card. He’ll now face Brandon Vera in the main event of the “UFC on Fox 4” fight card, set for Aug. 4, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.
While the injuries to Stann, Silva and Michael Bisping did throw the UFC for a loop, I like the way they handled the situation.
Even though I enjoy watching Stann fight, I like the Lombard-Boetsch matchup a bit more, simply because it should be a more competitive fight. Stann is a dangerous striker, but his mediocre grappling skills would probably have cost him big against Lombard.
A highly decorated judoka with a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu to go with it, Hector Lombard can grapple with the very best in the division. Boetsch is a decent wrestler, and he should be able to handle Lombard’s grappling a little better than Stann would have.
Boetsch displayed his punching power in his last fight against Yushin Okami at UFC 144, coming back in the third round, putting the Japanese fighter away with a barrage of punches at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. He should be a tougher opponent for Lombard, and I expect fireworks when the two meet inside the Octagon.
I also like the Rua-Vera matchup. Both have struggled a bit in their last few fights, and their skills are evenly matched.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.