May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Alan Belcher (right) fights Rousimar Palhares in a middleweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Alan Belcher won by technical knock out in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Another day, another injury to a UFC fighter scheduled for an upcoming card, although this time the replacement fighter might actually make for a more interesting match-up. UFC.com is reporting that Luiz Cane has pulled out of his middleweight debut against Yushin Okami at UFC 150 in August, and will be replaced by fearsome leg mangler, Rousimar Palhares.
Many fans had eagerly discussed a potential Okami/Palhares match-up some time ago, when both were near the top of the UFC's middleweight rank. Now, even though both have suffered humiliating losses in their last fights (Okami getting KOd by Tim Boetsch in a fight he was clearly winning up to that point, and Palhares getting out-grappled and then pounded out by Alan Belcher), they're still two of the most talented 185-pounders in the UFC and it should prove to be an intriguing bout. Okami showed good leglock defense in a previous bout against well known heel-hooker, Dean Lister, but Palhares is a more powerful grappler than Lister and Okami's strong takedown and submission defense will surely be tested.
Speaking of intriguing match-ups...the UFC also announced another bout for the Denver card, and this one has fireworks written all over it, as featherweight kickboxing dynamos, Max Holloway and Justin Lawrence, are scheduled to face off, with Lawrence dropping down to 145 lbs. after previously competing at lightweight. Holloway, a Hawaiian native, got thrown to the wolves when he faced Dustin Poirier on short notice in his UFC debut, but the 19-year old (the youngest active fighter in the UFC) proved he belonged in his next bout, an utterly one-sided beatdown of Pat Schilling where Holloway nearly finished his hapless opponent with strikes on numerous occasions. Lawrence was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter, but his flashy kickboxing turned a lot of heads, including that of John Cofer, who Lawrence knocked out in sensational fashion via high kick at the season finale last month.