UFC 172’s Welterweight scrap between Jake Ellenberger and Tarec Saffiedine has been cancelled due to an undisclosed injury suffered in training which caused Saffiedine to pull himself from the fight.
But don’t fret, unlike the usual downgrade in opponent when short-notice injury occurs, Ellenberger gets a bit of an upgrade as he will now meet Robbie Lawler at UFC 173.
Originally, Ellenberger and Saffiedine were supposed to meet at UFC Fight Night 34 in Singapore in January to kick off 2014, but Ellenberger would be forced to withdraw due to injury. The fight would then be re-booked for UFC 172 after Saffiedine took home a unanimous decision victory over Elleberger’s replacement Hyun Gyu Lim.
Ellenberger has won eight of his last 10, with five of those wins coming via knockout. However, he has been out of action for quite some time; his most recent fight took place eight months ago, a decision loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 8.
As for Lawler, he is coming off a loss as well, dropping a unanimous decision in a trilling fight to Johny Hendricks at UFC 171 for the then vacant UFC Welterweight title. Previous to the loss to Hendricks, Lawler was on a three-fight win streak, which consisted of knockout wins over Josh Koscheck and Bobby Voelker and a split decision win over Rory MacDonald.
The two heavy handed Welterweights will now collide in what should be a barn burner, as well as having serious title implications.
UPDATE: Saffiedine suffered a cervical injury, which occurred when Saffiedine’s back was pushed into the wall as he attempted to defend a takedown. He is expected to resume training in six weeks.