Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 114 later this month.
Griffin is believed to have picked up a shoulder injury which leaves him unable to compete in the bout which had been lined up as the co-main event of the Las Vegas event.
Now the UFC faces an all-to-familiar scramble to find a late replacement for ‘Lil Nog’.
So who are the most likely options?
There has been some call for up and coming star Jon ‘Bones’ Jones to take Griffin’s place, but thought that certainly would be an interesting fight I believe the UFC will, if at all possible, stick to their guns and keep the 22 year old away from the top tier light-heavyweights for the time being.
A fight that makes sense to me is with Thiago Silva. Yesterday it was announced that Silva was set to face the returning Tim Boetsch, but that strikes me as a slightly curious bout that could be scrapped if neccessary.
Silva has admittedly hit a rocky patch lately, going 1-2 in the UFC after having been unbeaten in his previous 13 fights, but he remains a challenge for anyone in the division and I’d like to see how he matches up with Nogueira.
A third option would be TUF season 8 champion Ryan Bader who’s recent form suggests he’s ready for a step up in competition.
Before you get your hopes up for a good match-up for Nogueira with the likes of Jones, Silva or Bader, news has reached us that the UFC have in fact decided to pair him up with Jason Brilz instead.
It’s a golden opportunity for Brilz to take a major step up in competition after producing a solid 3-1 record in the UFC to date, but overall it’s not an ideal replacement for the original co-main event feature and unfortunately weakens the UFC 114 show.