Diego Sanchez (17-2) will not take on Roan Carneiro at UFC 82: "Pride of a Champion" on March 1 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, as previously reported. Instead, the former winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 1 will fight Swedish import, David Bielkheden (12-5).
There was no mention of a reason behind the opponent switch in the MySpace bulletin sent around earlier this morning from the "Nightmare."
Bielkheden is a veteran of the Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) scene, having competed under the Pride FC and Shooto banners, among others. The "Scandinavian Lion" is on a two-fight win streak and will be making his Octagon debut.
Sanchez, on the other hand, will look to rebound from back-to-back losses to American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) training partners, Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch. Those were the first two defeats of his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career and he was contemplating moving down to fight at lightweight.
However, Sanchez recently decided against that and will now look to get back on track against Bielkheden at 170 pounds.
Carneiro posed some serious size and strength problems for Sanchez. It doesn't appear that Bielkheden poses the same challenge. Other than that it's hard to give an assessment on the bout without much intel on Brazilian Top Team's Bielkheden.
Because Sanchez is involved this match up will more than likely make the televised main card, which is quite an accomplishment considering how deep it is. Of course, the main event features the sick showdown between UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva, and the last man to hold the Pride FC welterweight title, Dan Henderson.
For the most recent UFC 82 fight card click here.