Robbie Lawler Steps In for Injured Tarec Saffiedine; Lawler vs. Ellenberger Headed to UFC 173

March 28, 2014
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Robbie Lawler UFC 167 Post_9430A training injury has forced Tarec Saffiedine out of his scheduled fight with Jake Ellenberger at UFC 172. Ellenberger, however, will still fight, but it will be a month later at UFC 173, where he will face Robbie Lawler.

MMAWeekly.com on Friday confirmed the changes, initially reported by MMAJunkie.com citing UFC president Dana White. UFC officials later announced the bout via Twitter.

This is the second time that Saffiedine vs. Ellenberger has been cancelled. The two were originally supposed to have met in the main event of the UFC Fight Night in Singapore in January. Ellenberger had to withdraw from that card due to injury.

Ellenberger will fight Lawler at UFC 173, which has already undergone a tremendous amount of change recently.

The original UFC 173 main event between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort was nixed when it was deemed too risky for Belfort to navigate the licensing process when the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned applications for testosterone replacement therapy exemptions.

Weidman was then expected to defend against Lyoto Machida, but that fight was moved to UFC 175 in July when Weidman suffered from recurring knee issues and opted for surgery.

UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barão now headlines UFC 173 on May 24 in Las Vegas, putting his belt on the line against TJ Dillashaw.

Having been sidelined with the hamstring injury for his planned January bout, Ellenberger (29-7) will have been out of action for nearly a year when he steps in the Octagon with Lawler. Ellenberger last fought in July of 2013, losing a unanimous decision to Rory MacDonald.

Lawler (22-10, 1 NC) is fresh off of his five-round battle with new UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks at UFC 171. Lawler was on the edge of winning the fight, but Hendricks turned the tables in the final round to sway the judges unanimously in his favor.

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  • uncle

    This card just got real son

    • shakejunt

      for sure. everyone was worried when weidman went down, but he got replaced with another dominant champion and a top 5 ww fight. i’m on board.

      • Shocked_n_Awed

        I’m excited now to see who gets injured and replaced next? :)

        • shakejunt

          my money is on ellenberger

  • mmalive

    Both guys are finishers. KO power for sure. Great match up.

  • TheCerealKiller

    I love this fight! I’m taking Ellenberger.

  • julian moran

    Machida beats Weidman.
    Lawler beats Ellenberger.

    • MaritalArtist

      Hard to beat a healthy Weidman.

      • Bucket of Chicken

        Julian can defeat both Weidman and Jones in the same night.

  • kkk

    then Rory vs Dong hyun Kim??

    • uncle

      Rory is fighting Woodley

  • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

    What a great fight and a big chance for Lawler to get a rematch with Hendricks. There’s no way a finish doesn’t get one of these guys a title shot.

    • uncle

      Michael Johnson vs Nate diaz would be another
      great fight for this card

      • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

        Good call. Johnson has looked very impressive lately. I would love to see that fight.

      • Bucket of Chicken

        I’ve read a rumour that Nate Diaz may fight TJ Grant at the October 4 event in Halifax.