Yesterday, both Jamie Varner and Kelvin Gastelum confirmed via twitter that they were injured and were forced to pull out of their respective UFC on FOX 9 bouts. Gastelum, the former TUF winner, was set to face off against another former TUF winner in Court McGee. Varner, the former WEC Lightweight champion, was set to face Pat Healy in a fight that was sure to bring fireworks.
Today, it was announced that the UFC had found the replacements for Gastelum and Varner. Bobby Green will be stepping up on short notice to take on Pat Healy, while Ryan LaFlare will take Gastelum’s spot against Court McGee.
Although the name value may have dropped, the fight quality has not. Green is quickly becoming a fan favorite in the UFC. Unfortunately, his last fight was marred by an ugly stoppage. Green fought James Krause a week ago at UFC Fight for the Troops 3. Green hit James below the belt two times in quick succession to start the fight. After the restart, another questionable kick landed for Green as Krause fell straight to the canvas. Referee, Big John McCarthy, called a stop to the fight, saying the kick was legal. Pictures and replay have shown just how close the kick was to being below the belt. Either way, Green got the victory and has a quick turnaround to move on from the fiasco.
LaFlare is only four days removed from his dominant victory over Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC Fight Night 32. LaFlare is a rising prospect in the UFC at 9-0, but will be taking on his stiffest test when he meets Court McGee in December.
The UFC made out fairly well with the injury replacements. Losing Gastelum is definitely a big hit, but Green and LaFlare have the chance to be studs in the UFC if they continue to put on impressive performances.