The UFC has rejigged a pair of high-profile fights, moving Matt (the Immortal) Brown from a Colorado card to face former welterweight champion Johny (Bigg Rigg) Hendricks at UFC 185 in Dallas on March 14.
Brown, ranked sixth among 170-pound contenders, had been due to face No. 9 Tarec (Sponge) Saffiedine in the main event of a televised event Feb. 14 in Broomfield, Colo. But the bout was scrapped when a replacement opponent could not be found for the injured Saffiedine.
The Broomfield card will now be headlined by welterweights Brandon (Rukus) Thatch, a Coloradao native, and Stephen (Wonderboy) Thompson.
With new welterweight champion (Ruthless) Robbie Lawler electing not to fight until the summer, Hendricks had some time on his hands before the final leg of their trilogy. And with Hendricks wanting to fight in his home town of Dallas, the UFC shifted Brown to UFC 185.
That likely opens the door for No. 2 contender Rory MacDonald to fight in April at UFC 186 in Montreal. No. 5 Hector Lombard offered to take on the Canadian after defeating Josh Burkman last month.
Brown (21-12) has won seven of his last eight, losing to Lawler in July 2014.
Hendricks (16-3) defeated Lawler at UFC 171 last March to claim the title vacated by Montreal's Georges St-Pierre. Lawler took the crown away when he won a split decision at UFC 181 in December.
The UFC 185 main event at American Airlines Center will pit lightweight champion Anthony (Showtime) Pettis (18-2) against No. 1 contender Rafael dos Anjos (23-7).
Pettis's younger brother Sergio will also be in action at UFC 185, dropping down to flyweight to fight Dallas native Ryan Benoit.
The brothers last fought together at UFC 181 with Anthony successfully defending his title against Gilbert Melendez and Sergio beating Matt Hobar.
Unbeaten Toronto middleweight Elias (The Spartan) Theodorou will face off against Texan Roger (Silverback) Narvaez in Dallas. Other fights include ninth-ranked heavyweight contender Roy (Big Country) Nelson against No. 11 Alistair (The Reem) Overeem and No. 9 flyweight Chris (Kamikaze) Cariaso against Henry (The Messenger) Cejudo.
Thatch (11-1) has been out of action since November 2013 due to injury. He is unbeaten in his last 10 fights dating back to 2009.
Thompson (10-1) has won four straight since losing to Brown at UFC 145.
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