Featherweight king Jose Aldo was scheduled to make his first UFC title defense in the card’s co-main event, but was forced to pull out of his fight with Grispi Tuesday night due to a compacted vertebrae.
ESPN reported the injury was causing tingling in both of his arms. A month of physical therapy was recommended by the Brazilian’s physicians.
Grispi earned his top contender spot by posting four consecutive WEC victories. The 22-year-old owns an impressive 14-1 record, with only one of his wins coming courtesy of the judges sitting cage-side.
Poirier was last seen hanging a 53-second TKO win over Zach Micklewright at WEC 52. His last two fights for the blue-caged company came in the 155-pound division.
The January 1st show takes place inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. A lightweight title bout between champion Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard will headline the pay-per-view broadcast.
Although Heavy didn’t confirm in their report, it’s believed the featherweight bout will no longer serve as the co-main event. It’s highly possible Aldo’s injury not only cost Grispi the second-to-top billing on the card, but the opportunity to appear on television altogether.
Here are the athletes that will be ringing in the New Year inside the Octagon:
Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares
Cole Miller vs. Matt Wiman
Marcus Davis vs. Jeremy Stephens
Mike Brown and Diego Nunes
Antonio McKee vs. Jacob Volkmann
Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Silva
Josh Grispi vs. Dustin Poirier
Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Takanori Gomi vs. Clay Guida
Gray Maynard vs. Frankie Edgar (UFC Lightweight Champion)