Tyson Griffin will reportedly step in on short notice to battle PRIDE lightweight import Takanori Gomi on August 1 at the upcoming UFC on Versus 2 event from the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California.
Dave Meltzer reports that Griffin is replacing Joe Stevenson after "Daddy" injured his knee in training camp.
The American Top Team standout looked to finally be on the verge of contention within the UFC's stacked 155-pound division. Despite numerous "Fight Night" bonuses, Griffin had been widely criticized for going to a judge's decision in a staggering seven straight bouts.
That ended at UFC 103: "Franklin vs. Belfort" when he crushed Hermes Franca in the second round via technical knockout (punches). Unfortunately he was unable to keep that momentum going when he faced the surging Evan Dunham, who eventually bested Griffin in a split decision at UFC 115: "Liddell vs. Franklin" earlier this month.
A convincing finish over the former PRIDE champ could easily get him right back into the mix.
Gomi's much-celebrated Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 21: "Florian vs. Gomi" left a lot to be desired as the former pillar of Japanese MMA was thoroughly outworked and outskilled before succumbing to "KenFlo's" rear-naked choke in the third round.
"The Fireball Kid" had gone just 2-2 over the last two years prior to the Florian fight while mainly competing for Sengoku, effectively dimming the shine of what has been a stellar career. A loss against Griffin could very well spell the end for Gomi as a competitive top-tier lightweight fighter.
UFC on Versus 2 will feature a light heavyweight match up between superstar in the making Jon "Bones" Jones and Belarusian brawler Vladimir "The Janitor" Matyushenko. Also on tap for San Diego is a middleweight brawl between Mark Munoz and Yushin Okami.
For the latest UFC on Versus 2 fight card click here.