The UFC on Fox 9 card is falling apart.
Word circulated earlier in the week that lightweight champion Anthony Pettis suffered an injury and withdrew from the night's main event, and now another 155-pound fighter has dropped off the evening's lineup.
MMAJunkie reported that, like Pettis, Jamie Varner received an injury while training and will be unable to compete in his scheduled matchup with Pat Healy.
Fortunately, the UFC has not yet cancelled Healy's inclusion on the card. Instead, they are actively seeking a replacement fighter to fill in for Varner, according to MMAJunkie.
The UFC's lightweight roster is loaded with talent, so there are plenty of options for the UFC brass to consider.
Making their decision-making process even easier, this bout does not represent a title-eliminator fight (or even a top-10 fight), so almost any lightweight can be justified as a reasonable late-notice pick against Healy.
With well over 40 fights on his resume, Healy offers something for rising contenders and established veterans alike, so names from Michael Chiesa to Anthony Njokuani make sense as fill-in matchups.
Personally, I like the idea of throwing a rising contender to Healy.
As he showed in his win (which was later overturned to a no-contest due to a failed post-fight drug test) against Jim Miller, Healy is solid everywhere a fight goes, and he is dangerous even in the late stages of a closely contested, fast-paced contest.
This is exactly the kind of fighter an up-and-comer needs to beat to prove his worth on the sport's biggest stage.
Because of that, I like names like Myles Jury or, as previously mentioned, Michael Chiesa to step up and fight Healy on short notice at UFC on Fox 9.
Who do you think will take Varner's place? Channel Joe Silva, and toss some possible opponents at me. I look forward to hearing them.