An injury has forced a change to the preliminary card of next week’s UFC Fight Night 30 card in England.
England’s Mike Wilkinson (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is out of his featherweight fight against Jimy Hettes (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), a source close to the bout on Friday confirmed to MMAjunkie.com. According to the source, the UFC is actively seeking a replacement for Wilkinson to take the fight with Hettes on only about one week’s notice. But with the card taking place next Saturday, and in the United Kingdom, time and a replacement fighter’s home base may be factors.
UFC Fight Night 30 takes place Oct. 26 at Manchester Arena, also known as Phones 4U Arena, in Manchester, England. The main card will air on FOX Sports 2 following prelims on Facebook. The Wilkinson-Hettes fight was set to stream on Facebook.
Wilkinson, a lightweight cast member on the U.K. vs. Australia edition of “The Ultimate Fighter,” beat Grant Blackler by submission in his lone fight in the “TUF: Smashes” house. But he was injured in training and replaced by Richie Vaculik in the semifinals.
He was able to fight at the show’s live finale this past December, though, UFC on FX 6 in Australia, and he took a unanimous decision from Brandan Loughnane in an exciting fight on the preliminary card. In June, he ventured to Brazil for UFC on FUEL TV 10, where he was stopped quickly into the first round by a Rony Jason triangle choke.
Hettes in September 2012 lost for the first time when he dropped a unanimous decision against Marcus Brimage at UFC 152 in Toronto. Prior to that, “The Kid” had started 10-0, including wins in his first two UFC fights – a submission win over Alex Caceres and a unanimous decision over Nam Phan, both in 2011.
The Pennsylvania native recently moved his training camp to the AMA Fight Club team led by Mike Constantino in Whippany, N.J., less than two hours from his previous home base. Hettes was scheduled to meet Steven Siler at UFC 159 in April in New Jersey, but was forced out with an injury.
With the change, the current UFC Fight Night 30 card now includes:
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 2, 3 p.m. ET)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 11:45 a.m. ET)
For more on UFC Fight Night 30, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Mike Wilkinson)