UFC Fight Night 49 received another welterweight shuffle today, as No. 7-ranked Demian Maia was forced out of his co-main event bout with No. 13 Mike Pyle at the August 23 card from the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The promotion’s website reported the injuries today, and MMA Fighting later found that Maia suffered a staph infection that was the result of a bone bruise, an ailment that forced the Brazilian jiu-jitsu wizard to be hospitalized on Tuesday.
In his place steps young contender Jordan Mein, who has seen a revolving door of contenders for this fight. He was first set to take on former title challenger Thiago Alves, but the oft-injured slugger was forced to withdraw. In stepped rising contender Brandon Thatch, who was also rendered unable to fight after suffering a compound fracture of his toe last week.
The Canadian-born Mein is looking to continue his assault on the UFC welterweight division, where he’s won four out of his past five bouts. His most recent win was a decision victory over Hernani Perpetuo at April 19’s UFC on FOX 11 from Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
The 24-year-old will have his hands full with the 38-year-old “Quicksand,” who was last seen finishing TJ Waldburger at February’s UFC 170. Like Mein, Pyle has a decent amount of momentum built up after winning five of his past six bouts with four T/KO finishes.
In fact, the only loss either fighter has suffered since early 2012 were their respective striking stoppages at the hands of powerful No. 4-ranked Matt “The Immortal” Brown.
This fight certainly came to be in a roundabout way, but it has the potential to be a solid war in Tulsa. Who is your pick to come out on top?
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