UFC Fight For The Troops 2: Florian out Vs. Dunham; Guillard, McKenzie Step Up
Former UFC lightweight top contender Kenny Florian has pulled out of his upcoming fight with Evan Dunham, citing a knee injury. The bout was originally set for UFC 126, then pulled from the card to serve as the main event of UFC Fight for the Troops 2 on January 22nd.
Melvin Guillard has pulled out of his fight with UFC veteran Yves Edwards to step up and face Dunham in the main event. Edwards will remain on the card, now facing The Ultimate Fighter 12 alum Cody McKenzie, who defeated fellow TUF 12 fighter Aaron Wilkinson by first round submission at The Ultimate Fighter Finale.
The Guillard/Dunham bout is certainly interesting. It's kind of a lose/lose for Dunham, since Guillard is a bit of a step down. However, Guillard is a fantastic striker, and Dunham was rocked by Efrain Escudero in the early going of their fight in January. Combo Guillard's striking with the fact that Dunham's wrestling isn't anything to write home about, and Dunham could be in trouble.
On the flip side, seven of Guillard's eight career losses have been via submission, and Dunham is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. All of these factors make for what should be a fantastic fight.
The Edwards/McKenzie fight also presents an interesting clash of styles. Edwards is a well-rounded veteran who has been around forever (since 1997), and has 15 wins by submission, 15 by knockout, and nine by decision. McKenzie, on the other hand, is an undefeated one-trick pony, but it's an effective trick.
McKenzie is 12-0 with his last ten wins (as well as two exhibition bouts on the show) coming via guillotine choke. Something tells me a veteran like Edwards will know to avoid the guillotine, but if McKenzie locks it in off a scramble or after rocking Edwards (which I really don't see happening, but stranger things have happened), it could be lights out for the Thugjitsu master. Consider me interested.
It's a shame when any fighter is injured- Florian is optimistic that his won't require surgery- but when guys step up like McKenzie and Guillard, interesting fights happen, and it's certainly better that these changes are happening a month and a half out, rather than the week before.