by Jeff Cain
UFC 58: ‘USA vs Canada’ event week began with the news that Diego Sanchez was off the card. Originally scheduled to fight John Alessio, Sanchez became ill the last two weeks and wasn’t cleared by doctors to compete. Two days later Kenny Florian withdrew from his bout with Sam Stout due to a back injury. A replacement was found for Florian, but no replacement could be located for Diego Sanchez. MMAWeekly spoke with UFC matchmaker, Joe Silva, about the difficulty of replacing fighters on such short notice.

No replacement for Diego Sanchez could be obtained, therefore, John Alessio will not be fighting this weekend. Joe Silva told MMAWeekly, “Unfortunately because there is a lot to do with the commission and everything, we just can’t get anybody this late, this close to the fight…I’ve got lots of 170 pound guys, but there is just too much stuff to do. It’s a real complicated process when we come here to get everybody approved; all the paperwork; everything that needs to be done; the fights and everything. It’s just days away now.”

Silva was asked what is next for John Alessio? Will he be back in the UFC? And if so, will it be against Diego Sanchez? Joe replied, “Alessio is a good kid. We are taking care of him. He is a bit bummed, but we’re doing right by John, and I’ll definitely get him in, in the future, as soon as I can.”

Kenny Florian was forced off he UFC 58 card due to an injured back, but the UFC was able to locate Sam Stout an opponent. Spencer ‘The King’ Fisher was named as Florian’s replacement yesterday afternoon. It is just a matter of Fisher making the weight limit of 155lbs when he steps on the scales at weigh-ins.

Joe Silva worked hard the last three days in an attempt to make sure UFC 58 has as many fights on the card as possible. Injuries happen. It’s just a part of the fight game. Communication between fighter and promoter is key to having a plan B. Joe Silva urged, “Anybody who is even considering fighting in the UFC in the future, I don’t care if you have a hangnail, call me. It doesn’t mean it is going to keep you out of the show. It just means that I will have a backup plan. I will have somebody who’s got everything straight, traveling plans and everything ready to go.”

The good news is all the fighter’s hard workouts are done. The fighters still have to make weight, though. Lets keep out fingers crossed.