A rib injury has knocked Valentijn Overeem (30-28) from a main event heavyweight fight later this month against Mike Kyle (19-9), and Travis Wiuff (68-17) will step up in his place.
Overeem, brother of UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem, was scheduled to meet Kyle at Championship Fighting Alliance 11. AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” on Friday reported the switch, and Overeem’s management team confirmed the news.
CFA 11 takes place May 24 at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Fla. The main card airs live on AXS TV. The new main event between Kyle and Wiuff will be a rematch from a 2010 no contest under the King of the Cage banner.
“Everyone at CFA wishes Valentijn Overeem a fast recovery from the rib injury he incurred this week,” stated Jorge de la Noval, CFA’s founder and CEO. “… The main event of CFA 11 is a now a rematch that both of these fighters have wanted for years. Their first fight in 2010 was ruled a no-contest and now, three years later, they finally have a chance to settle the score.”
Wiuff, a UFC and Bellator veteran, comes into the short-notice bout on a three-fight skid. A split-decision loss in Abu Dhabi was sandwiched in between quick first-round knockout losses for Bellator to Attila Vegh (25 seconds) this past August and Ryan Martinez in March (18 seconds). Prior to that, the veteran had a six-fight win streak that included a 4-0 run in Bellator.
Kyle, a UFC, Strikeforce and WEC vet, will fight for the first time since a first-round loss to Gegard Mousasi at Strikeforce’s finale in January. With two losses in four Strikeforce bouts and a third overturned to a no contest when Rafael Cavalcanted tested positive for a banned substance, Kyle wasn’t part of the Strikeforce transition to the UFC. He reportedly contemplated retirement, but then signed to fight Overeem.
Kyle and Wiuff met in February 2010. After a back-and-forth first two rounds, Kyle landed a punch after the bell. With Wiuff on the canvas, referee Herb Dean stopped the fight and it was ruled a no contest. Now, more than three years later, the two will get the rematch they’ve been seeking.
Overeem was looking to snap a two-fight skid, but will have to put that on hold with the injury. His most recent win came in February 2012, a first-round submission victory at KSW 18 in Poland. Of Overeem’s 30 career wins, 29 have come by stoppage.
CFA 11 has received considerable attention beyond the main event. Transgender fighter Fallon Fox is scheduled to meet Allana Jones in the co-main event in a women’s featherweight tournament semifinal fight.
With the main event change, the televised main card for CFA 11 now includes:
For the latest on Championship Fighting Alliance 11, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Travis Wiuff)