Urijah Faber’s September 20th bout against Masanori Kanehara never made sense. Kanehara is the kind of solid, well traveled vet with a well rounded but unexciting arsenal, who is made to hang out in the middle of the division and be a tough out for seasoned vets and rising prospects. That’s not a knock on him, it’s a pretty solid place to be eleven years into your pro career. What he isn’t is a top five bantamweight; by all accounts, Urijah Faber still is. And while I’m never one to revel in a fighter’s injury (and really enjoy seeing Faber fight) I’m much more interested in seeing Kanehara in a more competitive bout.
And by the sounds of it, that’s just what he’ll be getting. A lingering rib injury (suffered against Alex Caceres) has pulled him from the bout, where he’ll be replaced by Alex Caceres. The UFC reported the card change on their Japanese website and Fox Sports gave an update on the injury.
According to Faber’s manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc. who spoke to FOX Sports on Friday, the rib injury is nothing serious, but he’s already competed twice with the same ailment and it can definitely affect his performance.
Caceres, of course, comes into the bout fresh off his own fight with Urijah Faber, a surprisingly competitive third round submission loss. Prior to the loss to Faber, Caceres was on a five fight unbeaten streak (with some bad luck in-between). And, generally, his loss to Faber was a sign to many that while he may not be in line for a title shot soon, he’d definitely arrived as a top ten fighter at 135 lbs.
Kanehara, interestingly, enters the UFC off a loss; a disqualification to Toshiaki Kitada, after Kanehara threw him out of the ring. Prior to the DQ, he was on a six fight win-streak with all of his wins coming by knockout or submission, and five within the first round. He’s most notable for his 2009-2010 campaign where he went 3-3 facing off against Chan Sung Jung, Hatsu Hioki, Michihiro Omigawa, Norifumi Yamamoto, Marlon Sandro, and Yoshiro Maeda. While I’m not sure that he can beat Caceres, it’s a much closer and competitive fight than the debut the UFC originally had planned for him.
UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Nelson takes place September 20th in Saitama, Japan. Here’s a look at he card so far:
Mark Hunt vs. Roy Nelson
Rin Nakai vs. Miesha Tate
Jon Delos Reyes vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Katsunori Kikuno vs. Sam Sicilia
Myles Jury vs. Takanori Gomi
Johnny Case vs. Kazuki Tokudome
Maximo Blanco vs. Dan Hooker
Kiichi Kunimotoh vs. Richard Walsh
Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Takenori Sato
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Michinori Tanaka
Alex Caceres vs. Masanori Kanehara
Amir Sadollah vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
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