Zuffa officials were left scrambling Saturday night to fill yet another a void on the UFC 133 lineup after it was revealed Antonio Rogerio Nogueira had withdrawn from his scheduled bout with Rich Franklin due to undisclosed damage he suffered while preparing for the August 6 event. The Brazilian’s removal marked the third competitor pulled from the card in the past week for similar reasons and delays his attempt to rebound from a pair of back-to-back decision losses after winning seven straight including victories in the Octagon against Jason Brilz and Luis Cane.
UFC President Dana White announced the unfortunate news through his Twitter where he also stated the organization was already in the process of trying to find a replacement. Though no candidates were mentioned, a possibility albeit a far-fetched one could be Strikeforce’s Muhammed Lawal who took to the social networking site in response to White’s message and volunteered to step in on late notice.
UPDATE: The UFC has since released information saying the fight has been scrapped with Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshishiro Akiyama sliding into the co-headlining spot and Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman getting a bump up from the prelims to the main card.
Other changes to the show from the last seven days include Tito Ortiz stepping in for an injured Phil Davis against Rashad Evans in the main event as well as the addition of Matt Hamill to a match-up with Alexander Gustafsson after original opponent Vlad Matyushenko was forced off the show for health-related reasons.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC