It’s now been officially confirmed that the rumor we brought you yesterday regarding Jake Ellenberger being injured is true, and as such he’s been removed from his ‘UFC Fight Night 34’ headline spot against Tarec Saffiedine.
Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Saffiedine will now make his debut against Hyun Gyu Lim instead at the event in Singapore on January 4th.
Hailing from South Korea, Lim has burst onto the UFC scene with a bang, notching up knockout victories against both Marcelo Guimaraes and Pascal Krauss in 2013, taking his career record to 12-3-1.
There’s no doubt that the hard-hitting Saffiedine, who’s coming off a big win over Nate Marquardt in his final Strikeforce fight, is a major step up in competition for Lim.
It’s an interesting fight, but realistically it’s one that’s lacks the star power to spark many fans imagination.
Tim Kennedy Vs Rafael Natal, which headlined the recent ‘Fight For The Troops’ event, was touted as one of the weakest main events in the UFC ever, but on reflection Saffiedine Vs Lim is even more qualified for that rather dubious distinction.
This might be a sign of things to come in 2014 though as the UFC ramps up it’s number of show from a little over 30 this year, to well over 40 next year, while also for the first time tailoring certain events to local markets like Asia and Europe.
If there is one positive to come out of this latest switch-up it’s that there’s now an up and coming Asian star in the main event which could play well in that part of the world.
Needless to say, Asia’s a huge potential market for the UFC, so even if the show is overlooked by the rest of the world, if it has a significant impact in that region then it could still be considered a success in their eyes.
Nevertheless, it’s an approach that’s likely to ruffle a few feathers in the coming year.