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Joey Villasenor replaces Ninja Rua against Phil Baroni on May 31

joey villasenorThe same day Elite XC issued a press release that the main card was set for "Saturday Night Fights" on CBS we already have a change in the line up.

Murilo "Ninja" Rua has been scratched for the show at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on May 31 and has been replaced with Joey Villasenor (25-6) who will tangle with Phil Baroni (10-9) in a 185-pound scrap.

No reason was given for the switch.

"Dream Smasher" is on a two-fight win streak since losing to "Ninja" via technical knockout in a bout to determine the first EliteXC middleweight champion back in 2007.

The Greg Jackson-trained fighter most recently knocked out Ryan Jensen in round one during the Strikeforce: "Shamrock vs. Cung Le" show last month.

Baroni, on the other hand, is on a two-fight losing skid. He was stopped by Kala Hose last month in a slugfest, missing out on the Icon Sport middleweight title. The erratic yet charismatic fighter has lost four of his last six fights.

This match up might actually favor Baroni a bit more than a fight with Ninja. "The New York Bad Ass" prefers to brawl and Villasenor is not one to back down. He could have had some real trouble with Ninja's tight Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills.

"Saturday Night Fights" marks the debut of MMA on network television. The two-hour show will air LIVE on CBS from 9 to 11 p.m. ET.

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