The hits just keep on coming on the injury front as yesterday UFC 135 lost one half of its co-main event. Diego Sanchez has been forced to withdrawn from his scheduled welterweight bout with Matt Hughes due to a broken hand.
“Diego Sanchez broke his hand. Looking for a replacement for Hughes,” UFC President tweeted out earlier today.
With just 19 days tell the UFC hits Denver for UFC 135, finding a suitable replacement will have to happen quickly. The fight card also doesn’t have another welterweight fight on the card so a replacement cannot come from within.
Sanchez (23-4) is riding a two-fight winning streak with wins over Martin Kampmann and Paulo Thiago, both via unanimous decision.
“I am heartbroken that I have to inform MMA fans that I cannot fight Matt Hughes at UFC 135 later this month. I have never physically felt more prepared to compete than I felt for this fight, which makes this even more painful for me. While I do not know right now when I will return, I want to assure all of the fans out there that I will be back in the Octagon as soon as I am 100 percent healthy,” Sanchez said.
Hughes (45-8) last fought at UFC 123 last November where he was knocked out in the first round by BJ Penn. The former welterweight champion and UFC Hall of Famer has been training for this fight with Penn in Hawaii and it would be a shame if a replacement cannot be found.
UFC 135 will feature a main event between the light heavyweight champion Jon Jones vs. the former light heavyweight champion Quinton “Ramoage” Jackson.
Jon Fitch – Out of action since UFC 127 due to a shoulder injury, Fitch has been lobbying to fight on the UFC 139 card in San Jose. Since he is working back from injury, taking a fight on short might not be in the cards.
Josh Koscheck – Another AKA fighter that is trying to get on the UFC 139 card, Koscheck hasn’t fought since his five round beating by Georges St. Pierre at UFC 124.
[Update] “looks like I am in to fight matt Hugh if he takes it” is what Josh Koscheck tweeted out a little over two hours after it was announced Sanchez was out. Looks like it’s Hughes vs. Koscheck if Hughes gives the thumbs up.
Other possibilities include: Martin Kampmann, Rick Story, Paulo Thiago, Duane Ludwig, and Brian Ebersole.