Apparently, the UFC has this sweet new policy of replacing a decent fight with a totally awesome one when someone gets injured, or at least it seems that way.
A few weeks ago, Mark Coleman tore his MCL forcing him out of his big fight against Tito Ortiz at UFC 106. So what did the UFC do? They replaced Coleman with Forrest Griffin making a much better fight for Tito. Fast forward to today, and Jon Fitch announces that his UFC 106 opponent, Ricardo Almeida, blew out his knee, but that’s fine with him because he’s getting a “BIG fight” instead. He wasn’t kidding, because his new opponent has been revealed as Thiago Alves.
A source close to the UFC today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Fitch likely will instead fight fellow contender Thiago Alves (16-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in December at UFC 107; Alves’ rumored opponent on that card, Paulo Thiago (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), would instead be booked for another bout.
Dana White confirmed the news today at the UFC 104 pre-fight press conference in LA.
It’s an awesome rematch (Fitch won their first encounter in 2006) between two of the welterweight division’s top-ranked fighters, but what does it mean for the winner? Both lost to current title-holder Georges St. Pierre in the last two years. One would think Fitch stands the most to gain since he at least put up somewhat of a fight against GSP in 2008 (read: he lasted all five rounds) while Alves was thoroughly dominated by GSP only a few short months ago. That said, it’s doubtful a win alone will earn Fitch a second chance to challenge GSP for his title in the near future.
Regardless, it’s still a great fight, and one every mixed martial arts fan should look forward to on December 5.