Strikeforce Champ Tarec Saffiedine Turned Down UFC 158 Fight with Carlos Condit

Andrew SaundersCorrespondent IIFebruary 19, 2013

Jan 12, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tarec Saffiedine (red and black shorts) celebrates after his match with Nate Marquardt (not shown) in their Strikeforce MMA Welterweight Title bout at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

By now, you've likely already heard about the welterweight shuffle that has taken place at UFC 158. However, just in case you haven't, here is a quick recap of what went down in the last 24 hours.

  • Carlos Condit was scheduled to take on Rory MacDonald in the co-main event of UFC 158.
  • Rory MacDonald got hurt and will be out for 3-4 weeks with a back and neck strain.
  • A welterweight matchup between Johny Hendricks and Jake Ellenberger was scrapped so Hendricks could fill the void.
  • Jake Ellenberger now meets former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt.

A new twist has been added to the story, as Johny Hendricks was reportedly not the first choice to meet Condit.'s John Morgan recently tweeted that reigning Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine was offered the fight but turned it down.

With the fight coming on only four weeks notice, it's hard to fault Saffiedine for not immediately jumping at the opportunity. However, how often is a fight against a recent UFC champion going to fall into your lap?

Saffiedine made the right call by turning down a dangerous fight without proper time to prepare, but with UFC president Dana White's recent harsh words for Matt Mitrione, it will be interesting to see if this ends up hurting his status with the organization in the long run.

UFC 158 takes place on Saturday, March 16 and is headlined by a welterweight title fight between Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz. Even with the recent card changes, five of the world's six top welterweights are in action.