It appears that heavy-handed Brazilian knockout artist Junior dos Santos (8-1) has been scratched from his upcoming bout with mixed martial arts journeyman Justin McCully (9-4-2) at UFC 102 from the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 29.
No reason was given for the change, but the UFC has removed the bout from its official Web site.
Also removed from the 102 under card (for now) is the much anticipated Octagon debut of undefeated American Top Team (ATT) heavyweight Todd Duffee (4-0), who was originally scheduled to battle former Pride FC heavyweight Mike Russow (11-1).
The good news is that Russow is now rumored to be replacing Dos Santos against McCully, according to various published reports.
"The Insane One" was supposed to take on highly touted British heavyweight Neil Grove at UFC 95. However, McCully was replaced on short notice with Mike Ciesnolevicz after he sustained a cut while training for the heavyweight tilt.
He is known for wearing on his opponents with a strong wrestling base and then usually tries to end fights with his solid submission game. And it has been effective as of late. In fact, McCully has won four of his last five fights, including two of three in the Octagon since returning to action from a three-year hiatus in 2006.
He defeated talented striker Antoni Hardonk at Ultimate Fight Night 9 by unanimous decision in April of 2007, then lost to Gabriel Gonzaga by first round submission at UFC 86: "Jackson vs. Griffin" over a year later. "The Insane One" most recently grinded out another unanimous decision victory over Eddie Sanchez at "Fight For The Troops" in December.
That would leave Todd Duffee without a partner for the August 28 event. King of the Cage veteran Tim Hague, fresh off his thrashing of Patrick Barry at UFC 98, is rumored to be stepping in as a late replacement for Russow.
UFC 102 will feature one of the sport’s biggest stars — and local-area product — former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, locking horns with former Pride FC and UFC interim heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira.
To check out the latest UFC 102 fight card and rumors click here.