It was recently announced that Manny “The Anvil” Gamburyan had been removed from his slated UFC 135 bout with Diego “The Gun” Nunes due to an injury. As has often been the case recently, Joe Silva has to scramble and find a new opponent to face Nunes. With a Featherweight roster that is about forty-five fighters deep, a new opponent shouldn’t be much of an issue. Although many of the Featherweights have already been booked or are out with an injury, there is still a good amount of men to choose from.
Let’s take a look at the best possible choices to fill in against Nunes.
Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas (10-2)- While Lamas is coming off a first round TKO victory over Matt Grice, the potential grappling match between he and Nunes could be great. In the past, Lamas has used his wrestling to control his opponent and earn numerous decision victories. Nunes is great at using his BJJ along with his striking to move the fight at his own pace and control his opponents. It’d be a great clash of grapplers and would be decided by who could incorporate their striking in the best.
Javier “Showtime” Vazquez (16-5) – This fight would also be a battle of grapplers as Vazquez is a third-degree BJJ Black Belt. In his last fight, Vazquez used his superior grappling to out-work Joe Stephenson and earn himself a Unanimous Decision victory. While he has no knockout victories, he does hold eleven submissions. Nunes, in contrast, hold five knockouts with only six submissions. If these two were to cross paths, you could safely assume it’d be an exciting fight.
Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (10-1) – In his UFC debut, Poirier shocked many people by manhandling then-Number One Contender, Josh Grispi. Poirier was able to perfectly mix his strikes in with his grappling to keep Grispi off-balance the whole fight and easily coast to a unanimous decision. Every time Poirier steps in the cage, he comes to fight. Facing off against Nunes you can rest assure there would be fireworks. A win here for Poirier could definitely bump him up near the top of the division and into the title picture.
Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza (11-1) – In his two UFC fights, Garza has gone home with two post-fight bonuses (KO of the Night & Sub of the Night). A battle with Nunes could very well earn him the Fight of the Night bonus and complete the fight bonus hat trick. Although he is just a BJJ Blue Belt, seven of his victories have come by way of submission. He would definitely be able to use his reach to keep Nunes at a distance and pick him apart. However, if Nunes were to get the fight to the ground, his long limbs would be an advantage in the submission department as well.
With just over a month until UFC 135, Joe Silva and Dana White better hurry in finding Nunes a new opponent. If nobody steps up, Nunes will probably just be taken off the card and rescheduled for the next card or the one after that, depending on when they find a new opponent.
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