An injury has caused another shake-up to the fight card of UFC on FOX 8.
Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine has been forced withdraw from a scheduled main card bout against Robbie Lawler, UFC officials announced on Tuesday. Afghan slugger Siyar Bahadurzada now meets Lawler as a late-replacement.
Bahadurzada (21-5-1) suddenly finds himself with a chance to rebound from his latest setback to an expected audience of millions on network television. The 29-year-old racked up an impressive seven-fight win streak from 2009 to 2012, including six finishes and an electric 42-second knockout of Paulo Thiago, before seeing his hype train derailed by the grinding offense of Dong Hyun Kim in March.
Kim took Bahadurzada down to the canvas and held him there all three rounds, stifling the Afghan to the tune of just five landed significant strikes the entire fight according to FightMetric, to easily claim a unanimous decision victory.
However Bahadurzada now looks to right his ship against Lawler (20-9, 1 NC), a Strikeforce import who stunned in his UFC debut by knocking out Josh Koscheck less than four minutes into the first round. The resounding win propelled Lawler into No. 9 in the official UFC welterweight rankings, marking an end to an up-and-down Strikeforce run that saw the 31-year-old lose five of his eight contests.