Alan Belcher has come down with a "sever case of bronchitis" and will be unable to take on Ricardo Almeida at UFC 81: "Breaking Point" this weekend at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In his place undefeated Alaska Fighting Championship veteran, Rob Yundt (6-0), has stepped up to fill-in on ridiculous short notice.
Here's the skinny from UFC.com:
"Unbeaten UFC newcomer Rob Yundt (6-0) has stepped in on short notice to replace middleweight up and comer Alan Belcher against Ricardo Almeida on Saturday night's UFC 81 card in Las Vegas. Belcher was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a severe case of bronchitis."
This is terrible news for Belcher who was looking to tack on his third straight win inside the Octagon. He most recently defeated Kalib Starnes at UFC 77: "Hostile Territory" in November 2007 and prior to that he choked out Sean Salmon at UFC 71: "Liddell vs. Jackson" in just 23 seconds.
It's a bit bizarre because up until this afternoon Belcher was conducting interviews and appeared to have every intention of fighting.
Yundt is a Wolf Pack fighter who trains alongside UFC veteran Doug Evans at Anchorage Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He last competed in October 2007 and has just two fights to his credit in all of last year. However, that's two more than his upcoming opponent this weekend, Almeida.
In fact, "Cachorrao" last appeared inside the Octagon back in 2002 and is making a return to mixed martial arts action after taking more than three years off from professional competition. He's an animal on the ground thanks to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu training of Renzo Gracie.
Back in his heyday Almeida went up against some of the best in the sport: Ryo Chonan (win), Nathan Marquardt (win) and Kazuo Masaki (win), among others.
This should be a very tough fight for Yundt, but kudos to him for even taking the fight.
There's no telling if the Almeida fight will remain on the main card or it will become the swing bout and the Tyson Griffin lighweight showdown with Gleison Tibau will get promoted to the televised portion of the main card.
Stay tuned. In the meantime check out the latest UFC 81 fight card right here.