Shane Nelson (above) has agreed to meet Shinya Aoki on four days’ notice. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Following Antonio McKee’s withdrawal from a scheduled May 29 clash with Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki, Shane Nelson has stepped up on short notice to face the submission specialist at “Fight for Japan.”
Sherdog.com on Tuesday confirmed the news with a source close to the bout, who asserted that the new matchup is still awaiting Aoki’s approval. MMAJunkie.com first reported the change of opponent on Tuesday evening.
Dream’s first unnumbered event, “Fight for Japan” emanates from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and features both the quarter- and semifinal rounds of Dream’s 2011 bantamweight grand prix.
Nelson is a UFC veteran who participated on the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The 26-year-old began his UFC career with back-to-back wins over George Roop and Aaron Riley. The Hawaiian’s success would not last, however, as Riley got revenge in an immediate rematch following controversy surrounding the referee’s stoppage in the first bout.
After falling to Riley by unanimous decision at UFC 101, Nelson was outpointed by Matt Wiman in December 2009 at UFC 107. Most recently, “Sugar” submitted Jai Bradney with a guillotine choke at a March 19 event in Australia.