by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
His UFC career being a roller coaster ride, Drew Fickett was looking forward to adding to his recent win over Keita Nakamura at UFC Fight Night 9 when he faced Chris Lytle next week at UFC 73. Unfortunately for Fickett, he will have to sit this ride out however, as he has had to bow out due to injury.

According to Joe Cavallaro, Fickett’s manager, “Drew had been complaining his knee was not right for a couple of weeks. He tried to baby it and was hoping it would get better.”

It did not.

“He called and told me [that] after training, his knee had blown up like a cantaloupe. We talked about it and made the decision to withdraw,” affirmed Cavallaro.

“Drew was looking forward to a great fight with Chris. He’s a tough kid and Drew has a lot of respect for him,” he said. “We’ll be pulling for him to win. Hopefully, we can make the fight happen in the future.”

[UPDATE] Lytle’s manager, Ken Pavia, confirmed that Jason Gilliam is taking Fickett’s place. Though he has a professional record of 9-1, Gilliam is coming off of a loss to Jamie Varner at UFC 68 and will have a tough task ahead of him in the veteran Lytle.

Lytle is 22-14-5 as a professional and has faced some of the toughest fighters in the world. Although he lost his two most recent bouts, to Matt Hughes and Matt Serra respectively, Lytle has defeated the likes of Pete Spratt, Ron Jhun, Aaron Riley, and more.

UFC 73: Stacked is scheduled for Saturday, July 7 at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California.

***[6/29/07] The UFC today also confirmed Gilliam as the replacement for Fickett.