'Butterbean'-Smith Now Headlining Yamma

By Sherdog.com Staff Apr 3, 2008
Things have gotten even more complicated for Yamma Pit Fighting.

After a whirlwind of replacements, Sherdog.com has learned that Pat Smith will face Eric "Butterbean" Esch (Pictures) on Yamma's April 11 debut card in Atlantic City. Smith's manager, Tommy Rojas, confirmed the bout to Sherdog.com Wednesday evening.

Smith replaces Gary Goodridge (Pictures), who was originally slated to face Esch. However, FiveOuncesofPain.com reported on Wednesday that the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, which has oversight on Yamma's card in Atlantic City, revealed that Goodridge would not be approved to fight due to health and safety concerns stemming from his knockout by Mu Bae Choi (Pictures) in South Korea on March 30.

Smith, 44, was originally penciled in to face Oleg Taktarov. However, the UFC 1 veteran was arrested on March 21 in Bryan County, Okla., after leading police on a high-speed motorcycle chase at speeds of up to 130 miles an hour. Smith was reportedly charged with felony attempting to elude, possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription, and reckless driving. Charges were reduced to misdemeanors, Rojas told Sherdog.com, salvaging his fighter's appearance on the pay-per-view card.

The NJSACB also revealed to FiveOuncesofPain.com that the proposed bout between Mark Kerr (Pictures) and Oleg Taktarov has yet to be approved.

Kerr is still under indefinite suspension by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation after failing prefight medical testing before a slated August 2007 bout with Sean O'Haire (Pictures). Kerr, named Taktarov's replacement opponent earlier this week, stepped in for Smith, who was himself a replacement for the Russian's original opponent, Don Frye (Pictures).
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