It appears that heavyweight Cheick Kongo has been forced out of his UFC 116 scrap with Junior dos Santos due to a back injury. Although the contest was never officially announced, the organization has already moved on and will now pit the talented Brazilian against Roy “Big Country” Nelson at UFC 117 on August 7th.
MMAJunkie.com confirmed with a source close to the situation today that at least one of the fighters has verbally committed to the showdown.
Nelson owns a respectable 15-4 overall record, however is a perfect 2-0 since entering the UFC. The 33-year-old was last seen putting 6-foot-11 Stefan Struve to sleep at “UFC on Versus” in March.
Although Nelson looked impressive in his 1stRound knockout of Brendan Schaub to capture “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights” tournament and the six-figure UFC contract, “Big Country” legitimized his status as a potential contender with the 33 second knockout of the talented Struve.
Speaking of 1stRoud KOs, dos Santos disposed of former top contender Gabriel Gonzaga that same evening in Broomfield, Colorado. The win bumped his record to a dominant 11-1, however what’s most impressive is that he’s finished in all five of his Octagon outings.
Dos Santos also knocked out the aforementioned Struve at UFC 95 this past February.
UFC 117 takes place inside the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is believed that a middleweight title scrap between champ Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen will headline the pay-per-view broadcast.
Here are the fighters rumored/slated to compete in the night’s event:
Clay Guida vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Dennis Hallman vs. Ben Saunders
Thiago Silva vs. Tim Boetsch
Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almeida
Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves
Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva (UFC Middleweight Championship)