It was reported by multiple outlets on Monday that an undisclosed injury forced Leonard Garcia out of his featherweight fight against Tiequan Zhang at UFC 144. Late last night, Nam Phan (Pictured) announced he had agreed to serve as a last-minute substitute to face Zhang on February 26th.
“yooooo who wants to see some ASIAN on ASIAN CRIME. battle for the king of ASIA!!! round 1 BEGIN!!! Nam Phan vs Tiequan Zhang,” Phan tweeted.
UFC 144 takes place inside Saitama Super Arena in Saitama in Japan, so it’s fitting the Asians would duke it out in the Octagon’s return to the Orient.
Phan was last seen exactly one month ago getting schooled by Jimy Hettes at UFC 141. Since being a contestant on “The Ultiamte Fighter 12,” the Vietnamese-American has dropped three of his four big league bouts.
Zhang lost a unanimous decision to Darren Elkins at UFC 136. The Chinese fighter has been defeated in two out of his past three forays to the cage.
The show features a lightweight title tilt between champion Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson. Light heavyweights Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Ryan Bader will serve as the night’s co-main event.
Here is the card’s revised roster:
Tiequan Zhang vs. Nam Phan
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso
Steve Cantwell vs. Riki Fukuda
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Vaughan Lee
Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski
Takanori Gomi vs. Eiji Mitsuoka
Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch
(Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)
Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis
Jake Shields vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Cheick Kongo vs. Mark Hunt
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Ryan Bader
Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar (UFC Lightweight Champion)