UFC 95 has been hit with another late injury, as French lightweight David Baron has been forced to withdraw from a scheduled undercard bout against Per Eklund. In place of Baron, the UFC has signed undefeated prospect Evan Dunham to step in on short notice.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned of the news from a source close to the fight on Wednesday.
Eklund, 14-3-1, is a native of Sweden and 1-1 in two career UFC bouts. Facing Samy Schiavo at UFC 89 in his most recent bout this past October, Eklund recorded his first-ever Octagon victory following a rear naked choke submission at 1:47 of round 3. A former competitor of both the M-1 and BodogFIGHT promotions, Eklund holds notable victories over Baron and Rafael Dias.
Dunham is 7-0 in a pro MMA career that began in April of last year. Six of his seven victories have ended by either submission or TKO. He last competed just several weeks ago having submitted Dustin Akbari with a rear naked choke at 0:40 of round 3 during Palace Fighting Championships 12 on Jan. 22.
UFC 95 will take place on Saturday, February 21 and will emanate from the O2 Arena in London, England. The event will be televised on Spike TV and feature main card matchups involving Diego Sanchez taking on Joe Stevenson in Sanchez’s debut at lightweight; Josh Koscheck squaring off with the debuting Paulo Thiago; middleweights Nathan Marquardt and Wilson Gouveia going head-to-head; Demian Maia putting his undefeated record on the line again Chael Sonnen; and welterweights Dan Hardy and Rory Markham in action against each other as well.
The non-televised undercard will feature Junior dos Santos vs. Stefan Struve, David Baron vs. Per Eklund, Shannon Gugerty vs. Jeff Lawson, Justin Buchholz vs. Terry Etim, and Paul Kelly vs. Troy Mandaloniz, and Mike Ciesnolevicz vs. Neil Grove in addition to Dunham vs. Eklund.