Earlier today it was reported that Thiago Alves had been forced out of his upcoming UFC 111 rematch with fellow welterweight title contender Jon Fitch, and with it a large chunk of the mixed martial arts community sagged their shoulders with dissapointment.
That was until just moments ago when Fitch released the following message via his Twitter account:
They found a replacement. I’m fighting on sat night!!!
Ben Saunders to the rescue.
Saunders has been tapped to replace Alves against Fitch at UFC 111 according to multiple sources.
Saunders had previously been tabbed to face off with the heavy handed Jake Ellenberger at the event. There is no word currently of a replacement opponent being brought in for Ellenberger with two days left before fight time, but it’s not out of the question.
Fitch is riding a three fight win streak heading into Saturday’s UFC 111 bout with who he believed was going to be Thiago Alves until this morning. A win over Alves would have likely justified an immediate title shot against the winner of George St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out if the AKA trained fighter can get by Saunders with Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley coming up at UFC 113, which could also hold potential title shot implications.
Fitch will be entering UFC 111 with consecutive victories over the likes of Akihiro Gono, Paulo Thiago and Mike Pierce following a UFC 87 title defeat at the hands of GSP, while Saunders recently demolished Marcus Davis with a knee from hell after being TKO’d by Fitch’ training partner, Mike Swick.