Sage Northcutt will be facing a far more experienced opponent that originally anticipated at UFC 214.
Promotion officials confirmed Tuesday that 13-time Octagon veteran John Makdessi will replace the injured Claudio Puelles and face Northcutt at the July 29 event. Puelles was coming off a second-round stoppage loss to Martin Bravo in his promotional debut this past November. UFC 214 takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and is headlined by a light heavyweight championship rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones.
Makdessi, 32, has lost three of his last four bouts in the UFC. The Tristar Gym export last appeared at UFC 206, where he fell victim to Lando Vannata’s highlight-reel spinning wheel kick 1:40 into the opening round of their Dec. 6 bout. Makdessi is 7-6 in the Octagon and 14-6 as a professional overall. Nine of his victories have come via knockout or technical knockout.
Northcutt received a heavy promotional push upon his entry into the UFC and began his tenure with finishes of Francisco Trevino and Cody Pfister. He has since lost two of his last three bouts, including a second-round submission defeat against Mickey Gall in his most recent outing at UFC on Fox 22 this past December.