After former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine suffered an injury that took him out of his bout with Jake Ellenberger at UFC 172, it has been confirmed by UFC officials that the man to step in his place will be ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler at UFC 173.
The fight with Ellenberger will be a quick turnaround for Lawler, after a close decision loss to Johny Hendricks for the vacant welterweight strap. Lawler rocked Hendricks multiple times in the fight, winning the third and fourth rounds decisively and many arguing that the first round also went in the big hitter’s favour. Though ultimately unsuccessful in his title attempt, Lawler stamped his place as a top welterweight contender and a win over Ellenberger could earn a rematch.
Ellenberger will fight for the first time since a poor performance against Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 8. ‘The Juggernaut’ seemed tentative in the fight and never really got going, ultimately losing a decision and going down in a lot of viewer’s estimations. The loss was just his third inside the Octagon, with Ellenberger having an impressive 8-3 run under the UFC banner.
This fight between two of the heaviest hitters in the division will be a fun one, and takes place at the increasingly entertaining-looking UFC 173 card on May 24 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The card is headlined by the UFC bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and TJ Dillashaw. Ellenberger was originally scheduled to fight at UFC 172 in Baltimore, MD on April 26. It is yet to be confirmed whether a replacement fight will be added.
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