By Adam Martin
UFC lightweight Reza Madadi has pulled out of his upcoming bout against Michael Chiesa at UFC on FOX 8 and in Madadi’s place will be former Strikeforce fighter Jorge Masvidal, who takes the fight on about 10 weeks’ notice, as the event is scheduled to take place July 27 at KeyArena in Seattle, WA.
UFC Tonight reported the matchup change on Tuesday’s edition of the show, citing the fact that Madadi can’t get his visa. The bout will take place on the evening’s preliminary card.
Chiesa (9-0) won “The Ultimate Fighter” season 15 and has since posted two-straight wins in official UFC competition. The 25-year-old is one of the best lightweight prospects the UFC has seen in years as his combination of savvy submissions and heart has allowed him to defeat fighters who, on paper, are more talented than him, including Anton Kuivanen, who Chiesa submitted in his last outing at UFC 157. Chiesa wants to continue climbing the lightweight ladder and the next man on his path to the top is Masvidal, a very tough veteran.
Masvidal (24-7) recently made his UFC debut with a terrific decision win over Tim Means at UFC on FOX 7. The 29-year-old formerly fought in Strikeforce, where he went 5-1 with the only loss coming to former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Masvidal is an extremely well-rounded lightweight and he’ll be by far Chiesa’s toughest challenge to date, but although he’ll be the favorite to win the bout a victory over Chiesa would still help him keep advancing in the UFC’s extremely-deep 155-pound division.
UFC on FOX 8 is headlined by UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga and the co-main event is a welterweight bout between Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger.
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