We covered the loss of the huge upcoming heavyweight co-main event for UFC Fight Night 76 yesterday with the announcement that Stipe Miocic has been forced to back out of his fight from Ben Rothwell, but there’s more to the story and some other struggle announcements/injuries to discuss today. UFC is apparently looking for a short notice substitute 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, who had been battling very nicely against Rothwell earlier this year before diving into a takedown effort that got him submitted immediately via guillotine choke. Mitrione would not probably be the first option owing to his speedy defeat, but he’s a situation considering his desire for redemption. The biggest issue with Mitrione right now is that the simple fact that he’s currently booked to battle Travis Browne in January. Another and most intriguing replacement chance came out of left field as world class kickboxer Tyrone Spong requested an opportunity to fight Rothwell. Spong, who currently trains with the Blackzilians at 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 combined martial arts qualifications, however, are much more sparse. Spong is currently 2-0 in MMA, with just two victories under the World Series of penalizing banner, although he hasn’t fought an MMA bout in over two decades and has not competed professionally in any combat game since suffering a leg injury against Gokhan Saki 18 months ago. The biggest problem here would be cash, as I am sure signing Spong to some UFC deal on short notice wouldn’t come cheap. In other accident replacement information… Justin Lawrence vs Emmanuel Sanchez — Bellator 145 Unfortunately, an injury to former Bellator winner Pat Curran has forced him out of his fight against Justin Lawrence just over three weeks before their departure was set to take place. In steps Emmanuel Sanchez, a 25-year older fighter from the Roufusport Fitness Center in Milwaukee with an 11-2 record all around. Sanchez is now 3-1 beneath the Bellator banner, losing a choice to Curran currently and most recently picked up a split decision victory over Henry Corrales just two and a half ago at Bellator 143. This will certainly not be an easy for fight for Sanchez, particularly on short notice and with such a quick turnaround. I would anticipate Lawrence for a medium to heavy favorite by the time that the odds are drawn upward.
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