UFC 158 Picks Up Nate Marquardt vs. Jake Ellenberger

Andrew Saunders@SaundersMMACorrespondent IIFebruary 19, 2013

With Monday's announcement that Rory MacDonald suffered a neck injury, the biggest news of the day came in the form of Johny Hendricks being tapped as his replacement. "Bigg Rigg" will now face former UFC interim champion Carlos Condit in the co-main event of UFC 158.

Hendricks had originally been slated to face Jake "The Juggernaut" Ellenberger in a fight that could have determined the next contender for the UFC welterweight championship. 

Early Tuesday morning, the announcement was made (via MMAJunkie.com) that a suitable opponent for Ellenberger has been found: former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt.

Marquardt, a training partner of UFC 158 headliner Georges St-Pierre, won the belt by knocking out then-undefeated Tyron Woodley last summer. This will be for the first fight for "The Great" since losing his championship to Tarec Saffiedine at the final Strikeforce event in early January.

On a side note, this marks the third time in Ellenberger's career that an opponent has pulled out of a fight in order to take a bigger one on short notice.

Ben Saunders pulled out of a bout at UFC 111 in order to replace Thiago Alves against Jon Fitch. Ironically, Fitch was supposed to meet Ellenberger at UFC 126, but he was pulled from the card in favor of a headlining spot against BJ Penn at UFC 127.

UFC 158 will take place on Saturday, March 16 from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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