For those keeping score at home you can caulk up two more in the win column for the injury bug as he’s claimed two more victims to continue his dominance in the UFC. The latest fighters to get tapped out by the injury bug are Rory MacDonald and Josh Koscheck, leaving BJ Penn and Jake Ellenberger without opponents.
Maybe Dana White was onto something when he said all these injuries were from training too hard.
MacDonald and Penn were scheduled to fight and the UFC 152 main card but a nasty cut suffered during training force the Canadian off the card last weekend. The Koscheck vs. Ellenberger bout was set for the September 1st UFC 151 main card before a bulging disc has put the Ultimate Fighter season one standout on the shelf.
The obvious solution here would be to push Jake Ellenberger back three weeks and match him up with BJ Penn, but seriously who are we kidding, MMA hardly ever takes that route of obviousness.
Penn came out of retirement just for the fight with MacDonald so all signs point to him waiting for that fight to happen after MacDonald heals up. Siyar Bahadurzada and Jon Fitch have booth thrown their hat into the Octagon as a replacement and Fitch is even doing his best Chael Sonnen impersonation, but Penn isn’t having any of it.
Bahadurzada is actually still recovering from a broken hand injury and has since said tweeted “To be honest, my cast is off just two days ago. I might not be able to punch until the fight. It’s just my will that wants to fight BJ Penn!” Fitch is also recovering from an injury after withdrawing from his bout with Aaron Simpson at UFC on FUEL TV 4 and is tentatively schedule (rumored) to be facing Erick Silva at UFC 153 in October.
Leaving Ellenberger who was part of the UFC 151 co-main along with Koscheck as both looked to get back on the winning side of things. With the event only 3½ weeks away it’s not a given that a worthy replacement will be found but fighters like Aaron Simpson, Demain Maia and even Matt Riddle are coming off recent victories.
In the end though Ellenberger might find himself on that UFC 152 fight card, it just probably won’t be against Penn.
[UPDATED] The UFC has signed Jay Heiron and he will step in and face Jake Ellenberger at UFC 151 (source)