The main event for the UFC’s Singapore debut fell apart on Thursday, but the promotion already found a way to put it back together less than 24 hours later.
Jake Ellenberger had to withdraw from the UFC Fight Night 34 main event due to an undisclosed injury on Thursday, but UFC officials quickly moved to insert Hyun Gyu Lim in his stead. Lim will face off with former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine.
Lim (12-3-1) was already scheduled to fight Kiichi Kunimoto on the card, before being asked to step into the headlining role. Kunimoto will now face Luiz “Besouro” Dutra, according to UFC officials.
Lim is currently on a seven-fight winning streak including victories in his first two UFC bouts. He knocked out Marcelo Guimaraes at UFC on Fuel TV 8 and Pascal Krauss at UFC 164.
Saffiediene has won his last four fights, including defeating Nate Marquardt for the Strikeforce welterweight championship in his final bout for the company before parent company Zuffa folded it into the UFC.
That was in January, so Saffiedie’s UFC debut has been a year in the making.
A Pancrase and Heat veteran, Kunimoto (15-5-2) is riding four consecutive victories into the fight with Dutra. Dutra (11-2-1) is another fighter on a four-fight winning streak. Both Kunimoto and Dutra are making their UFC debuts.
UFC Fight Night 34 is slated for Jan. 4 in Singapore. It will air on Jan. 3 in the United States due to the time difference.
- Hyun Gyu Lim