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UFC 146 changes again: Roy Nelson set to face Dave Herman; Jamie Varner steps in to fight Edson Barboza
Just when you thought the UFC 146 card was finally finished, two more switches have been put into place. Roy Nelson, who thought he was set to fight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in his UFC debut, found himself facing Gabriel Gonzaga after Silva was thrust into the co-main event versus Cain Velasquez. However, Gonzaga was injured and in steps Dave “Pee Wee” Herman to take his place. The UFC 146 mass Heavyweight shift was put into place by the massively publicized failed drug test and subsequent suspension of one-time title challenger Alistair Overeem. Injuries have now begun to have their effect on the card as well.
Nelson finds himself in dire need of a win at UFC 146, as while he is a fan-favorite, his 1-3 record over his last four fights has not been impressive. He comes to the cage ready to battle and has been praised highly for his almost inhuman ability to absorb the most heinous of damage. His fights against Junior dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum prove that Nelson is a man that, seemingly, just won’t go down. “Big Country’s” opponent Dave Herman finds himself coming off of a loss to Stefan Struve at the first UFC on Fuel TV. Having beaten Jon Olav-Einemo in his UFC debut last summer, he will need a convincing win to get back on the upwards track. Herman loves to throw leather, will it be enough to topple Roy Nelson?
Another change that was just recently announced is the replacement of injured Lightweight Evan Dunham by Jamie Varner. Scheduled to face surging undefeated prospect Edson Barboza, we have not seen Varner in a UFC Octagon since 2007. His contact was never absorbed into the UFC after Zuffa purchased the WEC. A former champion there, he has gone 3-1 in his last four but will be faced with a tough task later this month. Barboza of course comes in with momentum from his ultra-impressive wheel-kick knockout over Terry Etim earlier this year, and many have him pegged as a future star in the most stacked division in the UFC. The fight should be a battle from start to finish.
With the stage set at least tentatively, UFC 146 is shaping up to be an absolute blockbuster of a card on May 26 despite all the changes.