On the heels of the welterweight showdown between B.J. Penn and Nick Diaz being elevated to UFC 137 main event status after the withdrawal of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre nixed his bout with Carlos Condit, two heavyweight contenders got the bump up to the co-main event.
UFC representative Dave Sholler on a Wednesday conference call announced that Matt Mitrione vs. Cheick Kongo would take Penn and Diaz’s place as the UFC 137 co-main event next week in Las Vegas.
Mitrione, for his part, takes the move in stride, not putting any more importance on the fight than it already had.
“It’s the biggest fight of my career. I’ve competed against the biggest names there is in professional football. I’ve played in front of 110,000 people at Michigan,” said Mitrione.
“The relevance of where it’s at (on the fight card) is irrelevant. The relevance is I gotta try not to get my ass kicked by Cheick Kongo. That’s what’s important, not where the fight is.”
The exodus of the St-Pierre vs. Condit bout necessitated the re-shuffling of the deck. Aside from Penn vs. Diaz taking the UFC 137 fight card top spot, and Mitrione vs. Kongo moving up, a preliminary bout between Brad Tavares and Octagon newcomer Dustin Jacoby has been elevated to the main card on pay-per-view. Tavares vs. Jacoby was originally slated to stream live on the UFC Facebook page.