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Jason Brilz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 114

When Forrest Griffin had to pull out of his UFC 114 co-main event with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, I hoped the UFC would replace Griffin with Jon Jones in a fight that would have matched the most impressive up-and-comer in the light heavyweight division with one of the divisions most accomplished veterans.

Instead the UFC has decided to put Nogueira in the Octagon with someone who won't get fans quite so excited.

MMA Junkie reports that Jason Brilz has agreed to face Nogueira on May 29. For Brilz, who's 18-2-1 in his career and 3-1 in the UFC, that represents an enormous step up in quality of competition; in his last four fights he has wins over Eric Schafer, Tim Boetsch and Brad Morris and a loss to Eliot Marshall. Nogueira is on a whole other level.

Give credit to Brilz for taking such a big step up in competition on such short notice, but there's no way to sugarcoat this; the UFC 114 card just got a lot worse. The difference between watching Nogueira fight Griffin and watching Nogueira fight Brilz is like the difference for a college football fan between watching a Florida-Alabama game and watching a Florida-Vanderbilt game. One is a clash of the titans, the other is a possible major upset but more likely a major beatdown.

The UFC 114 card still has the Rampage Jackson-Rashad Evans fight, one of the biggest of the year in MMA, so it's still going to do solid pay-per-view business. But the undercard has lost a lot of intrigue.

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