It might be time to start talking about the UFC 158 and UFC on FOX 7 connections.
For the third time this week, a UFC 158 winner will step up for an injured UFC on FOX 7 fighter to fill in on a one-month turnaround time. The latest news comes as T.J. Dillashaw (7-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will get right back to work against Hugo Viana (7-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) with Francisco Rivera (9-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) forced off the card with an injury.
UFC officials on Friday announced Rivera’s injury and the new booking. Earlier this week, UFC 158 winner Darren Elkins stepped in for Clay Guida to meet Chad Mendes, news first reported by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), and earlier today, fellow UFC 158 winner Jordan Mein was announced as Dan Hardy’s replacement against Matt Brown.
UFC on FOX 7 takes place April 20 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FX and Facebook. Dillashaw vs. Viana will be part of the preliminary card.
UFC on FOX 7 features a lightweight title fight between champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez, plus the delayed heavyweight bout between former Strikeforce grand prix winner Daniel Cormier and former UFC champ Frank Mir.
Dillashaw this past Saturday in Montreal needed to get to the second round against Issei Tamura, but once there the bantamweight made quick work of his opponent with a knockout 26 seconds into the frame. That win extended the Team Alpha Male fighter’s streak to three. He hasn’t lost since finishing as runner-up to John Dodson on Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Viana was a semifinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” and picked up a split-decision victory over John Teixeira. He then dropped to bantamweight and in December knocked out Reuben Duran at the TUF 16 Finale – the first stoppage win of his career after winning his first six official bouts by decision.
Rivera was hoping to extend his five-fight unbeaten streak after recent UFC wins over Alex Soto and Edwin Figueroa. A 2012 win over Roland Delorme was overturned when Rivera tested positive for an over-the-counter stimulant following UFC 149.
The latest UFC on FOX 7 card now includes:
MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
- Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez – for lightweight title
- Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir
- Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson
- Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, 5 p.m. ET)
- Darren Elkins vs. Chad Mendes
- Norman Parke vs. Jon Tuck
- Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin
- Myles Jury vs. Ramsey Nijem
- T.J. Dillashaw vs. Hugo Viana
- Jorge Masvidal vs. Tim Means
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 3:35 p.m. ET)
- Roger Bowling vs. Anthony Njokuani
- Clifford Starks vs. Yoel Romero
- Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama
For more on UFC on FOX 7, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: T.J. Dillashaw)