Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has suffered an ankle injury and as a result has pulled out of his fight with Brandon Vera at UFC 109 in February.

Despite the disappointment over the cancellation of another key bout for the UFC in the early part of next year, this may actually work out for the best on this occasion.

Rumor has it that Vera will now face the light heavyweight divisions most exciting up and coming prospect, Jon Bones Jones instead.  The word came directly from Vera’s twitter account, though he appears to have since deleted the message.

“Just found out I’m firing Jon Bones Jones on March 21st in Denver Colorado. hope u heard it here first!!!! “

March 21st in Denver is currently scheduled to be the location of the Ultimate Fight Night 21 card which this fight would no doubt headline.

This sounds like a good plan to me.  Jones is ready for a step up in competition, and Brandon Vera, who is coming off a controversial loss to Randy Couture, is the perfect bridge between mid-level opposition at light heavyweight, and the top contenders in the division.

It also frees up ‘Lil Nog’ to perhaps fight one of the top contenders in the division as we had originally predicted.  I still like the sound of Nogueira Vs Forrest Griffin – and from the results of a recent poll on this site, our readers think the same.

At this stage however it is unclear when Rogerio will be back to full fitness.

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