It's a rare day when an injury makes a fight just as good or better than it would have been otherwise. But, I'd argue that this is definitely an exception to the rule. MMAJunkie.com reported on Friday that Tarec Saffiedine has pulled out of his UFC 172 bout against Jake Ellenberger due to injury. The nature of the injury has not been disclosed and a possible time table for his return is still up in the air, pending a doctor's examination.
Stepping in for Tarec will be recent welterweight title hopefull, "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler. Lawler was most recently on the losing end of one of the UFC's best title fights in recent memory, when he to Johny Hendricks to a hard fought five round decision, for Georges St-Pierre's vacated title. This injury replacement will put Lawler on a slightly accelerated schedule with UFC 173 a mere 8 weeks away. However, it's an extra month he wouldn't have had, had the bout remained on the UFC 172 card as originally planned.
Lawler's opponent, Jake Ellenberger, is looking to bounce back from a unanimous decision loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 8. The uncharacteristically lackluster performance was compounded by injury woes, as Ellenberger was set to take on Saffiedine as the headliner of UFC Fight Night: Singapore, but was forced from the card with a hamstring injury. Now he's on the other side of the fence, with Saffiedine forced to withdraw. There's no word yet if another bout will be found for the UFC 172 card.
Here's a look at UFC 173, as it stands now: