Another day another fighter, another injury. The UFC announced on Twitter today that Shane Del Rosario has been forced out of his planned bout against Dave Herman at UFC 162. He will be replaced by Gabriel Gonzaga.
I can't help but feel like this would have been harder to take, and perhaps even easier to get excited about a year ago. Going into 2012 Herman had only legitimately lost one fight in his entire career (he also had a DQ against Sokoudjou). Gonzaga was making his UFC return after a brief retirement, and Shane Del Rosario was making his UFC debut as an undefeated prospect with a string of great performances in Strikeforce. It's amazaing how a year changes things.
Since then Gonzaga has seen a nice winning streak snapped (and probably forgotten) with several brutal elbows to the
back side of his head via Travis Browne. Herman has lost three straight in the UFC and is coming off a suspension and rehab stint for his chronic marijuana habit. And Del Rosario has lost two straight with two brutal knockouts, and a career that once was promising appears to be getting entirely sidelined by consistent injury problems.
A fight between Herman and Gonzaga isn't bad (it's certainly no worse than Herman vs. Del Rosario) but it's not meaningful either. The fighter that comes out of this won't be any closer to a permanent spot in the division and the loser may very well be gone for good. Hopefully that latter point will spur one of these fighters on to the performance of a lifetime and we'll get a good show out of a largely uninspired matchup.