UFC Champ Demetrious Johnson Out of ‘TUF 17’ Finale; Sam Sicilia-Maximo Blanco Joins Bill


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UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has sustained an injury and will be unable to defend his title as expected at “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 finale.

The news was revealed Tuesday night on UFC.com, and a new main event is expected to be announced shortly. Though Johnson was slated to face rising talent John Moraga at the April 13 event, it is currently unclear whether Moraga will still compete that night in Las Vegas.

UFC officials also announced that a new featherweight contest has joined the show, as “TUF 15” vet Sam Sicilia takes on former lightweight King of Pancrase Maximo Blanco.

Sicilia, 26, saw a seven-fight winning streak snapped in his most-recent outing, as the Washingtonian was knocked out by “TUF: Brazil” winner Rony Mariano Bezerra at UFC 153 last October. Meanwhile, Blanco enters the cage coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, most recently dropping a split decision to Marcus Brimage last April at UFC 145.

Johnson, 26, has posted a record of 3-0-1 since cutting to 125 pounds, becoming the inaugural UFC flyweight king this past September and defending his title successfully last month against John Dodson at UFC on Fox 6. Moraga has not lost in more than two years, rattling off seven straight wins capped by an impressive third-round submission of Chris Cariaso on Dec. 29 at UFC 155.

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