UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch will get a second chance to dazzle the New Jersey crowd this Saturday night at the Prudential Center as the UFC has re-booked him to face Ben Saunders on Saturday night (March 27) following Thiago Alves' sudden withdrawal from the UFC 111 event due to a failed CAT Scan.
MMAmania.com confirmed the change in opponents with source close to one of the fight camps earlier today.
"Killa B" was already scheduled to appear on the "St. Pierre vs. Hardy" fight card opposite Jake Ellenberger, who now gets bumped in favor of Fitch.
"Pitbull" was not cleared to compete by the NJ State Athletic Commission after a pre-fight CAT Scan found an "irregularity" in his brain. While the decision was a difficult one, the commission will always err on the side of caution in the case of a fighter's safety.
Alves is expected to see a specialist next week to obtain clearance for future fights.Fitch was initially instructed to maintain his current weight as UFC officials continued their search for a suitable replacement. The former collegiate wrestling standout had even offered to move up to Middleweight (185-pounds) if it increased the promotion's chances of finding a suitable opponent.
However, due to the timing and strict licensing requirements in the "Garden State," the UFC had opted to promote the lightweight scrap between Kurt Pellegrino and Fabricio Camoes to the main card of Saturday's pay-per-view and proceed with a ten-bout card.
Now Saunders will get a step up in competition, as per his request, and keep Fitch on the main card in an intriguing match-up of styles. Ellenberger meanwhile is expected to receive full pay for the promotion's decision not to use him.
To see where we now stand with the recently re-constructed UFC 111 fight card click here.