Esther Lin for Showtime
Johny Hendricks may have received the nod to step in and face Carlos Condit at UFC 158 after Rory MacDonald came down with an injury, but, he wasn't exactly the UFC's first choice. Tarec Saffiedine, the last man to hold the 170-pound title for Strikeforce, explains why he turned down a fight against "The Natural Born Killer" on short notice.
When Rory MacDonald fell victim to the dreaded injury bug, forcing him off his much-anticipated rematch against Carlos Condit at UFC 158 on March 16, 2013, Johny Hendricks was yanked from his bout against Jake Ellenberger and put into the co-main event spot against "The Natural Born Killer" at the request of "Bigg Rigg."
However, Hendricks was not the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) first choice to fill in for an injured "Ares." That honor was bestowed upon the last man to hold the welterweight title for the now-defunct Strikeforce organization, Tarec Saffiedine.
So, why didn't the bout between Tarec and Condit come to be?
According to Saffiedine, he wasn't quite healthy enough to step up on short notice as he recently revealed on his appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"The main reason is, I'm not 100-percent healthy. I have a couple of injuries that have been nagging and I had to take care of. And so, I had to unfortunately turn down the fight. It was too short to heal my injury and be ready for the fight. With healthy and a longer camp, I would love to take the fight. But, unfortunately, that's the reason why I had to turn it down."
However, Tarec went on to say even if he was injury free, he probably wouldn't have accepted the bout against Condit on short notice.
He offers up further explanations:
"On short notice, if I weren't injured, I don't know, in such short notice, I think I would have to say no. I don't know man. It was a tough call because I wasn't in the best shape right now and it was a tough call to not say yes and at the same time it was a great opportunity and one I was looking for also. But, the balance in the end was the injury."
Saffiedine went on to say he didn't want to disclose his injury but did say he would be ready to return in May of this year.
Tarec upset the former 170-pound Strikeforce champ Nate Marquardt in the final event for the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion at Strikeforce: "Marquardt vs. Saffiedine" back on Jan. 12, in what proved to be a striking clinic by the Team Quest fighter.
"Sponge" battered "The Great's" legs with brutal and precise leg kicks, which had Marquardt hurt during and likely limping well after the fight, which also earned Tarec his fourth straight victory.
How about it Maniacs, does an eventual showdown between Tarec and Condit interest you? Who would you like to see Saffiedine go up against in his Octagon debut once he is ready and able?