Injuries Force UFC 135 Shuffle; Yagin-Assuncao Official


Junior Assuncao will return to the Octagon at UFC 135. | Photo: Dave Mandel


Multiple injuries have altered the UFC 135 “Jones vs. Rampage” undercard, as two bouts have been scratched from bill.

Promotion officials have announced that Norifumi Yamamoto will not square off against Damacio Page and Manny Gamburyan will not lock horns with Diego Nunes, as originally anticipated at the Sept. 24 event. Instead, the UFC confirmed a previously reported featherweight confrontation between recent signings Eddie Yagin and Junior Assuncao, which will partially fill the void left by the canceled matches.

Headlined by a light heavyweight title conflict between champion Jon Jones and former titleholder Quinton Jackson, UFC 135 will emanate from the Pepsi Center in Denver. Airing live on pay-per-view, the event’s main draw will also feature a welterweight contest between UFC hall of famer Matt Hughes and former lightweight title contender Diego Sanchez, as well as a 155-pound showdown pitting onetime Pride Fighting Championships king Takanori Gomi against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 winner Nate Diaz.

An 11-year pro, Yagin recently earned the most significant win of his career at Tachi Palace Fights 10, submitting former Bellator Fighting Championships titleholder Joe Soto with a guillotine choke in just two minutes. The Hawaiian returned to the cage in 2011 after an 18-month layoff, earning a technical knockout over Joe Neri in June.

Unlike his foe, Assuncao will bring some UFC experience into the Octagon on Sept. 24. Competing as a lightweight, the Brazilian posted a 1-2 record in the world’s largest promotion before being released in 2007. Since his departure, Assuncao has won seven of eight fights, most recently choking out Wesley Murch on March 31 in Brazil.

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