Igor Pokrajac has been scratched from his light heavyweight bout with Krzysztof Soszynski at Saturday’s UFC 131, and returning UFC veteran Mike Massenzio has agreed to replace “The Duke” on only six days’ notice.
The promotion announced the change Monday evening in a post on UFC.com which stated only that Pokrajac “suffered an injury that forced him to cancel.” The Croatian fighter was himself a replacement for Australian Anthony Perosh, who withdrew from his bout with Soszynski due to injury in early May.
The card for UFC 131, which airs on pay-per-view from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has seen its fair share of ailments. Most notably, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar was once again stricken with diverticulitis, leaving original opponent and “Ultimate Fighter 13” coaching rival Junior dos Santos to square off against Shane Carwin in Saturday’s main event.
Massenzio (Pictured) returns to the Octagon less than a year after a 1-2 run saw him released by the UFC. The 28-year-old New Jersey native submitted Drew McFedries and was punched out by C.B. Dollaway in late 2008 before missing 19 months with a knee injury and staph infection.
Upon his return in August 2010, Massenzio was triangle-choked by Brian Stann late in the third round of UFC Live 2’s “Fight of the Night.” The Team Bombsquad member has since fought once, notching a second-round stoppage of Nate Kittredge at an April 29 Combat Zone event in New Hampshire.