MANILA, Philippines – The injury bug has bitten the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first fight card in South Korea on November 28 as Thiago Alves was forced to withdraw from his 5-round welterweight encounter against former lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
Alves, who was originally booked to face Henderson in the main event of the UFC’s maiden trip to South Korea numbered as “Fight Night 79,” suffered a rib injury in training.
As a result, Jorge Masvidal will take Alves’ spot to square off with Henderson in the UFC Fight Night 79 headliner.
Masvidal (29-9) was supposed to take on hometown talent Dong Hyun Kim in the card’s co-main event, but the promotion tapped Dominic Walters to lock horns with the Korean.
The 31-year-old native of Miami, Florida has been competing inside the Octagon since April 2013 and has won seven of his nine UFC outings.
In addition, Masvidal is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Cezar Ferreira last July.
On the other hand, Henderson (22-5) elected to try his hand at the 170-pound weight class following back-to-back losses against Rafael dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone at lightweight.
In his welterweight debut, Henderson submitted Brandon Thatch with a fourth-round rear-naked choke this past February.
Despite being briefly linked to a match-up against Michael Johnson, the 31-year-old Arizona native was chosen to banner UFC Fight Night 79 as he was born to a Korean-American mother.
UFC Fight Night 79 takes place at the 14,730-seater Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, South Korea. – Rappler.com