It's been a busy day for UFC welterweight prospect, Gunnar Nelson, and the Icelandic BJJ phenom hasn't even made his Octagon debut yet, but he's now on his third potential opponent for UFC on FUEL TV 5 in Nottingham, England on September 29th. Earlier today, we reported that Nelson's original opponent, Pascal Krauss, had suffered a nasty rib injury in training and had pulled out of the fight, with TUF alum, Rich Attonito, agreeing to step in on short notice at a 175-lb catchweight. Now, according to MMA Junkie, it appears that even with the catchweight, Attonito didn't feel he'd be able to cut weight in time and has withdrawn from the fight. Hopefully the third booking's a charm for Joe Silva, as he's now gotten a verbal commitment from TUF 11 runner-up, Damarques Johnson, to fight Nelson on less than two weeks' notice:
Instead, it'll be Johnson who takes the short-notice opportunity.
"Concerns over making the welterweight limit on short-notice prompted Attonito to withdraw," a source close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com. That opened the door for Johnson, who earlier today tweeted that he's been booked for his next fight, though he didn't say against whom.
"Darkness" has had an up-and-down UFC career following his stint on TUF, but he's rarely in a boring fight and has answered the call as a short-notice replacement several times, likely earning him some extra job security. Most recently, Johnson welcomed Mike Swick back to the UFC after an extended layoff, at UFC on Fox 4 last month. Johnson was actually doing quite well initially against Swick, and won the first round on most scorecards after achieving mount and nearly catching Swick in several submissions. He couldn't repeat that success in the second round though, and his night ended violently after Swick caught a kick and followed him to the mat with a brutal right hand that turned off the lights.