Fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship were hit by a bit of a 1-2 punch recently — with the news of two upcoming main events being scrapped due to injury.
First came news that Chris Weidman would be unable to defend his UFC middleweight title against Vitor Belfort, as scheduled for UFC 184 later this month — as a rib injury has sidelined the champ.
Then, rising welterweight star Stephen Thompson was announced as unable to appear at UFC Fight Night 60 on February 14, where he was to face Brandon Thatch in that show’s main event.
In the former case, we’re not sure what’s happening next. There’s no timetable for Weidman’s return yet, and UFC President Dana White announced yesterday that Belfort has refused to fight a replacement in Lyoto Machida.
But, it looks like the latter problem has been solved, per announcements at the UFC 183 press conference last night.
Former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson has agreed to step up and face Thatch at UFC Fight Night 60 on about two week’s notice. This will mark the first time Henderson has competed at welterweight.
Henderson is 21-5 in his MMA career. He last fought on January 18 at UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver, where he lost a controversial unanimous decision to a late replacement in Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The defeat marked the first time in Henderson’s career he lost two consecutive bouts. He is 8-3 in the UFC.
Thatch is 11-1 in his MMA career, and has not lost a bout since 2008. He is 2-0 in the UFC.
UFC Fight Night 60 takes place February 14, at 1stBank Center in Thatch’s home state of Colorado.