Robbie Lawler Replaces Injured Tarec Saffiedine, Faces Jake Ellenberger at UFC 173

By: Mike Whitman
Mar 28, 2014
Two weeks after his last bout, Robbie Lawler has a new assignment. | Dave Mandel/

An injury has forced Tarec Saffiedine to withdraw from his UFC 172 meeting with Jake Ellenberger.

Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White revealed Saffiedine’s injury to on Friday and announced that Ellenberger will now compete at UFC 173 against Robbie Lawler. UFC 173 takes place May 24 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a bantamweight title clash pitting Renan Barao against T.J. Dillashaw.

This recent cancellation marks the second time that an injury has prevented Ellenberger and Saffiedine from doing battle. The welterweights were initially expected to collide at UFC Fight Night 34, but Ellenberger was forced to pull out, leaving Saffiedine to face Hyun Gyu Lim instead.

Ellenberger, 29, last competed in July, when he suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 8. Prior to that setback, “The Juggernaut” posted consecutive victories, outpointing former IFL king Jay Hieron before knocking out ex-Strikeforce champ Nate Marquardt to kick off 2013.

Lawler came up just short in his bid to capture the vacant welterweight title two weeks ago at UFC 171, dropping a hard-fought unanimous decision to Johny Hendricks. The defeat snapped a three-fight winning streak for the 13-year pro, who bested Josh Koscheck, Bobby Voelker and Rory MacDonald to earn his crack at the gold.

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