March 25, 2010
Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole reports that Jon Fitch will now face Ben Saunders at UFC 111. Saunders is replacing Thiago Alves, who was not cleared to fight due to problems found in his pre-fight CAT scan. Saunders had been set to fight Jake Ellenberger on Saturday's card in Newark, N.J.
Word came early this morning that Alves would not be able to fight.
Alves said he did two MRIs and one CAT scan at home in Florida. He said doctors said they saw something they initially thought was a bleed on the brain, but later thought it was something with which he was born.
Alves said the New Jersey commission “is particular” and was not comfortable clearing him to fight.
“I was really upset and I’m not even concerned about my health,” Alves said. “I know I’m fine. I’m just sad I can’t fight.”
This is the second time the Fitch vs. Alves rematch has been scratched. The pair fought in June of 2006, with Fitch coming away with the TKO win. After both had unsuccessful title shots, they were scheduled to fight at UFC 107. Alves sustained a knee injury and had to withdraw from the bout.
Saunders is coming off a win over Marcus Davis at UFC 106. Before that, he lost to Fitch's American Kickboxing Academy teammate, Mike Swick. The TKO loss to Swick is Saunders' only loss.
According to MMA Junkie, Ellenberger will still be paid show and win money for the bout he was supposed to have with Saunders.
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