by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com (Reporting by Damon Martin)
George Sotiropolous has had to withdraw from his planned bout against Matt Grice at UFC Fight Night 17 next week in Tampa, Fla. Sources close to the bout told MMAWeekly.com that Sotiropolous suffered an undisclosed rib injury, forcing him out of action.
Acting swiftly, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has already lined up Matt Veach – a fighter out of Matt Hughes’ HIT Squad Gym – to step in with little more than a week’s notice. UFC Fight Night 18 at the Sun Dome is by far the largest stage upon which Veach has ever stepped in his fight career. He does, however, enter the Octagon with an unblemished record of 10-0 as a professional with only one of those bouts going the distance.
Grice is 9-1 as a professional, his only loss coming by way of submission to Terry Etim at UFC 70 in early 2007. His last UFC appearance was a win over Jason Black at UFC 77 in October of 2007. Following that win though the husband and new father decided to forgo another fight in favor of attending the police academy to provide stability and security for his new family, but he’s back and ready to fight.
Main eventer Hermes Franca was also forced to withdraw from UFC Fight Night 17 earlier this week due to a reported torn ACL. The fight card is now headlined by Franca’s original opponent, Joe Lauzon, in a lightweight contest against Jeremy Stephens.