UFC 146 changes again: Roy Nelson set to face Dave Herman; Jamie Varner steps in to fight Edson Barboza


Just when you thought the UFC 146 card was finally finished, two more switches have been put into place. Roy Nelson, who thought he was set to fight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in his UFC debut, found himself facing Gabriel Gonzaga after Silva was thrust into the co-main event versus Cain Velasquez. However, Gonzaga was injured and in steps Dave “Pee Wee” Herman to take his place. The UFC 146 mass Heavyweight shift was put into place by the massively publicized failed drug test and subsequent suspension of one-time title challenger Alistair Overeem. Injuries have now begun to have their effect on the card as well.

Nelson finds himself in dire need of a win at UFC 146, as while he is a fan-favorite, his 1-3 record over his last four fights has not been impressive. He comes to the cage ready to battle and has been praised highly for his almost inhuman ability to absorb the most heinous of damage. His fights against Junior dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum prove that Nelson is a man that, seemingly, just won’t go down. “Big Country’s” opponent Dave Herman finds himself coming off of a loss to Stefan Struve at the first UFC on Fuel TV. Having beaten Jon Olav-Einemo in his UFC debut last summer, he will need a convincing win to get back on the upwards track. Herman loves to throw leather, will it be enough to topple Roy Nelson?

Another change that was just recently announced is the replacement of injured Lightweight Evan Dunham by Jamie Varner. Scheduled to face surging undefeated prospect Edson Barboza, we have not seen Varner in a UFC Octagon since 2007. His contact was never absorbed into the UFC after Zuffa purchased the WEC. A former champion there, he has gone 3-1 in his last four but will be faced with a tough task later this month. Barboza of course comes in with momentum from his ultra-impressive wheel-kick knockout over Terry Etim earlier this year, and many have him pegged as a future star in the most stacked division in the UFC. The fight should be a battle from start to finish.

With the stage set at least tentatively, UFC 146 is shaping up to be an absolute blockbuster of a card on May 26 despite all the changes.

Further Reading: UFC 146 shuffle: Roy Nelson to face Gabriel Gonzaga, Shane del Rosario to fight Stipe Miocic


  • It was always known it would be super risky putting on a HW main card, so easy for the big guys to get injured but the UFC has done a good job as fixing it as they go.

    As for the Barboza fight, I’m quite disappointed. Barboza is coming off perhaps the best KO in the history of the sport and also 2 wins over very solid opponents. IMO Barboza will go through Varner – Jamie used to be real good but he has only won 3 out of his last 8 and his wins weren’t against guys anywhere near Barboza’s level.

    Really hoping Barboza gets a big fight, someone like Cerrone perhaps, after this (assuming he wins).

  • Gosh the last card that had this many changes was UFC 108. I guess we can call it the “cursed” card of the year and hopefully all the other cards from here on out have few changes to them this year. I was really siked for the Dunham Barboza fight more than I was all of the the fights on the main card so Im sad to see that get changed. One good note though is the cards that seem to have the most injuries tend to end up having great fights and amazing finishes.

  • lol I wonder if a thick beard absorbs a KO shot…8O

  • Yeah probably right but if he comes in as of old he may be a great challenge.

  • Its musical fighters….the way this card is shaping up they will probably end up picking out of a hat on fight night for the matchups

  • In one sense nobody has a training advantage I suppose which makes for a more realistic street fight outcome.

  • lol good point!

  • When did Varner make it back into the UFC. I like his style, but I don’t think he will make it past Barbosa.

  • yea Mike, seems varner had a silent entrance. Saw him fighting in another org. then whammo! here he is.