We covered the loss of the huge upcoming heavyweight co-main event for UFC Fight Night 76 yesterday with the announcement that Stipe Miocic was forced to back out of his fight against Ben Rothwell, but there’s more to the story and a few other fight announcements/injuries to go over today. UFC appears to be looking for a short notice replacement for Miocic to step in and fight Rothwell in Dublin, and a few notable names put their names into the ring. The first was Matt Mitrione, who was fighting very well against Rothwell earlier this year before diving into a takedown attempt that got him submitted immediately via guillotine choke. Mitrione wouldn’t likely be the first option due to his quick defeat, but he has a case considering his desire for redemption. The biggest issue with Mitrione right now is the fact that he’s currently booked to battle Travis Browne in January. The other and most intriguing replacement opportunity came from out of left field as world class kickboxer Tyrone Spong requested an opportunity to fight Rothwell. Spong, who currently trains with the Blackzilians in Boco Ratan, has made a name for himself as perhaps the best light heavyweight striker on the planet with a kickboxing record of 74-7-1 with one no contest. His mixed martial arts credentials, however, are much more sparse. Spong is currently 2-0 in MMA, with two victories under the World Series of Fighting banner, although he has not fought an MMA bout in over two years and hasn’t competed professionally in any combat sport since suffering a leg injury against Gokhan Saki 18 months ago. The biggest issue here would be money, as I’m sure signing Spong to a UFC deal on short notice wouldn’t come cheap. In other injury replacement news… Justin Lawrence vs Emmanuel Sanchez – Bellator 145 Unfortunately, an injury to former two-time Bellator champion Pat Curran has forced him out of his fight against Justin Lawrence just over three weeks before their bout was set to take place. In steps Emmanuel Sanchez, a 25-year old 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 decision to Curran already and most recently picked up a split decision victory over Henry Corrales just two and a half weeks ago at Bellator 143. This will certainly not be an easy for fight for Sanchez, especially on short notice and with such a quick turnaround. I’d expect Lawrence to be a moderate to heavy favorite by the time the odds are drawn up.
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