by Adam Martin
Another day, another injury in the UFC.
This time it’s to Manny Gamburyan, who was forced to pull out of his upcoming featherweight fight against Hacran Dias, which was set to take place at UFC on FX 8 on May 18 in Brazil. In his place the UFC has called upon Nik Lentz to fill the void, as the American has agreed to fight the Brazilian on his home turf on fairly short notice.
The UFC today announced the new matchup.
Lentz (23-5-2, 1 NC) has won both of his fights since dropping down to 145 after a spirited run in the UFC lightweight division, TKOing Eiji Mitsuoka at UFC 150 and decisioning Diego Nunes at UFC on FX 7. The 27-year-old native of Minnesota is one of the most effective grinders in the sport, and he seems to have found his home at 145 pounds, where he actually has a size advantage for once in his career. While Lentz has been criticized by many for his perceived boring fighting style, he’s been much more entertaining as of late, and if he can defeat Dias in impressive fashion, he will shoot to the top of the UFC featherweight division.
Dias (21-1-1) is a 28-year-old Brazilian who is a training partner of UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, and while he may not be as well known as Aldo, he’s been just as invincible in an MMA cage, having only lost once in his entire career. The youngster made his UFC debut at UFC 147 last June, and he defeated Yuri Alcantra by decision in by far the biggest win of his career. He was supposed to fight Chad Mendes back at UFC on FX 6, but had to pull out with an injury. Now healthy, he’ll look to keep rising up the division’s ladder when he takes on Lentz in a fight that will push the winner into title contention.
UFC on FX 8 is headlined by a five-round middleweight fight between Vitor Belfort and Luke Rockhold and features a co-main event between 185 pounders Costa Philippou and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. As well, Rafael dos Anjos takes on Evan Dunham, and TUF Brazil winner Cezar Mutante takes on CB Dollaway.
What are your thoughts?