Yesterday, we learned that former heavyweight champion of both PRIDE and UFC, Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira, has been forced from his UFC 149 battle against Cheick Kongo.
Today, UFC.com has announced that Big Nog will be replaced by none other than Shawn Jordan.
Jordan is a former Strikeforce competitor who put on an exciting battle against strongman Oli Thompson at UFC on FX back in March. The contest saw Jordan win via TKO after two rounds of back and forth action.
The American fights out of Greg Jackson's camp and compiled a 3-1 record in Bellator, before going 1-1 in Strikeforce, where he holds a submission win over Lavar Johnson.
Despite his 13-3 record, this fight represents a major step up in competition for Jordan, as Cheick Kongo is a mainstay of the UFC Heavyweight division and holds wins over the likes of Mirko Cro Cop and Assuerio Silva. To date, Kongo is the only man to go the distance with former champion Cain Velasquez.
This fight is the first for Kongo since a TKO loss to Mark Hunt back at UFC 144 in Japan. After stating on multiple occasions that he is hoping to get the title shot that he eluded him throughout his 17-fight UFC career, 37-year-old Kongo will need to be successful against the rising prospect if he has any realistic hopes of getting his shot.
UFC 149 takes place on July 21, 2012 and will be headlined by the Interim Bantamweight title fight between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao.