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UFC 73: Lytle opponent carousel continues to spin

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Drew Fickett -- who was scheduled to fight Chris Lytle (22-14-5) -- has been scratched from UFC 73 with an injury. His replacement, according to MMAWeekly.com and other sources, is Jason Gilliam (9-1).

Fickett replaced Jeff Joslin last month -- the Canadian also had to withdraw from the bout because he hurt himself during training.

It is reported that Fickett hurt his knee in training, which is the reason he disappeared from the UFC 73 fight card section on UFC.com a few days ago.

This is bad news not only for Fickett but for us fans, too. His bout with Lytle was no doubt going to be competitive. Even the match up between Lytle and Joslin was enticing.

Gilliam will move up a weight class -- he usually fights at 155 pounds -- to welterweight to face the Indiana native and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season four 170-pound finalist.

Nicknamed "The Gizzard," Gilliam also hails from the Hoosier State. Prior to making his Octagon debut at UFC 68 -- a first-round submission loss to Jamie Varner via rear naked choke -- he was undefeated.

This is without question a bit of a disappointment. However, Gilliam should be commended for stepping up and taking the tough fight on such short notice.

Who knows ... he could surprise a few folks -- me included.

UFC 73 is set for next Saturday, July 7, at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. It will air live on pay-per-view (PPV) beginning at 10 p.m. ET.

For the full UFC 73 fight card -- which is still "stacked" despite this latest news -- click here.

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