Josh Grispi: Sherdog.com
As reported yesterday, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has sustained compacted cervical vertebrae that will force him out of his UFC 125 title defense against Josh Grispi, scheduled for New Year's Day at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Stepping up to fill the void left by Aldo will be up-and-comer Dustin Poirier. The news was first reported by Heavy.com on Wednesday afternoon. The bout has yet to be officially announced by the UFC.
Only 21 years old, Poirier made his professional debut in 2009 and rattled off seven consecutive victories before signing with World Extreme Cagefighting. “The Diamond” was welcomed to the big show rudely, as he was defeated by Danny Castillo by unanimous decision at WEC 50. Poirier rebounded at WEC 52, stopping Zachary Micklewright by technical knockout in just 53 seconds. Both of Poirier's fights inside WEC were at lightweight.
Poirier will face a dangerous finisher in Grispi, who has knocked out or submitted all but one of his competitors. The 22-year-old is undefeated since coming to WEC in 2008. After notching four-straight victories inside the blue cage, it was announced earlier this month that Grispi would become the number one contender for Aldo’s newly-christened UFC title.
UFC 125 will be headlined by a lightweight title clash between champion Frankie Edgar and the only man to ever beat him, Gray Maynard. Aldo’s withdrawal marks the second time the show’s co-main event has been canceled. Shane Carwin was originally supposed to meet Roy Nelson as the pay-per-view’s co-headliner, but Carwin was forced to withdraw in favor of having surgery on his injured back.