Just one day after Anthony Johnson (7-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) was forced to bow out of his June 20 fight, original opponent Matt Brown (9-7 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has done the same.
Sources close to the bout informed MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com
) that Brown has elected to rest and heal some nagging injuries rather than seek a replacement opponent.
Both fighters have been removed from the UFC's official listing of The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale, which airs live on Spike TV.
Johnson suffered a knee injury in training and was forced to withdraw from the contest earlier in the week. While Brown was content to deal with his own injuries in the June bout, with the contract broken he was free to focus on healing the unspecified lingering concerns.
No timetable was given for Brown's response, though the same sources indicated he would be open to facing Johnson at a later date.
Even with the loss of the two talented young fighters, The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale is still stocked with proven fighters.
MMAjunkie.com has also learned that while several sources are reporting a welterweight bout between Martin Kampmann (15-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) and T.J. Grant (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is nearly a done deal for the The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale, things may not be progressing as quickly as initially indicated.
While multiple sources have confirmed to MMAjunkie.com that Grant – fresh from a win in his debut for the organization at UFC 97 – has verbally agreed to the contest, sources close to the event have indicated Kampmann is not necessarily keen on the bout and has not agreed to the contest at this time.
The card, which takes place at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, now includes:
* Lightweight finalist No. 1 vs. No. 2
* Welterweight finalist No. 1 vs. No. 2
* Clay Guida vs. Diego Sanchez
* Nate Diaz vs. Joe Stevenson
* Kevin Burns vs. Chris Lytle
* Melvin Guillard vs. Gleison Tibau*
* Mike Ciesnolevicz vs. Tomasz Drwal*
* Brad Blackburn vs. Edgar Garcia*