The UFC announced Sunday that a knee injury has forced lightweight champion Anthony Pettis to withdraw from his first title defense against Josh Thomson. To fill that void, the UFC put in a flyweight title bout between champion Demetrious Johnson against Joseph Benavidez as the main event for UFC on Fox 9. Johnson and Benavidez were going to headline the TUF 18 finale.
So now Nate Diaz (16-9) against Gray Maynard (11-2) will be bumped from the TUF 18 Finale’s co-main event to the top slot. But unlike all current main events, this fight will still be at three rounds instead of five due to the late notice.
The TUF 18 Finale takes place Nov. 30 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The main card airs on FOX Sports 1 following prelims on BJPENN.COM.
Diaz and Maynard meet for the third time, but just the second time officially. They fought the first time on “The Ultimate Fighter 5” with Diaz winning by submission. In January 2010, Maynard won their lone official fight by split decision.
The TUF 18 Finale card as of today:
Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard
TBA vs. TBA – “TUF 18” men’s tournament final
TBA vs. TBA – “TUF 18” women’s tournament final
Walter Harris vs. Jared Rosholt
Maximo Blanco vs. Akira Corassani
Tom Niinimaki vs. Rani Yahya
Sean Spencer vs. opponent TBA