has been forced out of his fight at WEC 52
against Damacio Page
and will be replaced by Demetrious Johnson
WEC officials confirmed to MMA Fighting on Wednesday that Wineland was off the card, and sources close to the situation said Johnson has been tapped on three weeks' notice.
Sources close to Wineland's camp said the Indiana-based fighter has been dealing with a left shoulder injury and doctors recently advised him to not fight on the Nov. 11 card in Las Vegas. Sources also said the injury is not expected to set Wineland back very long, and there is even hope he could find his way onto the WEC 53 card on Dec. 16 in Phoenix.
Wineland (17-6-1, 4-2 WEC), the first bantamweight champion in WEC history, is on a three-fight winning streak that saw him sweep the judges' scorecards against Manny Tapia at WEC 43 and George Roop at WEC 46, followed by a Knockout of the Night win over Will Campuzano at WEC 49 in June.
Johnson (7-1, 1-1 WEC) made his debut with the promotion in April, dropping a unanimous decision to Brad Pickett at WEC 48. But he bounced back at WEC 51 last month with a win over Nick Pace. The first six wins of Johnson's career came by stoppage.
Page (12-4, 3-1 WEC) will fight for the first time since WEC 43 a year ago, when he submitted Campuzano with a first-round rear-naked choke. Since that win, his second straight, planned bouts against Takeya Mizugaki, Antonio Banuelos and Scott Jorgensen all fell through due to Page injuries.
WEC 52 takes place at The Pearl at The Palms Casino Hotel in Las Vegas on Nov. 11. The Wineland-Page bout was expected to open the live main-card broadcast on Versus, and sources close to the situation said the current plan is for the Johnson-Page replacement bout to fill the same slot.