Update: Aldo-Grispi Targeted for UFC 125; Nelson Removed

By Joe Myers Oct 29, 2010
UFC 125, scheduled for Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, has undergone a major shakeup at the top of the lineup. Jose Aldo, the first UFC featherweight champion, will now defend his title against Massachusetts native Josh Grispi in the show's co-main event, while Roy Nelson, who was scheduled to face Shane Carwin in that slot, has been removed from the card completely.

News of the moves was first reported by Versus.com. Nelson shared his reaction exclusively with Sherdog after the UFC informed him of the news.

"I think my feelings were a little hurt. I was hoping they could find somebody to replace [Carwin]. This is one of the biggest cards of the year, and I was in the co-main event, and I was really trying to make sure my knee was better,” said the former International Fight League champion. “The UFC really pushed me hard to get through with my rehab so I could fight on this card. My doctors said I shouldn't fight again until February or March, but I stepped up because the UFC wanted me to. I stepped up for the UFC, and I hoped they would do the same for me."

Nelson was looking to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 117 in August in a title eliminator fight, but Carwin -- who was submitted by Brock Lesnar at UFC 116 in July -- was forced to pull out of the fight due to a back injury. After Carwin was forced to withdraw, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic was rumored to be a possible replacement for Carwin. Instead, Nelson was removed from the event altogether.

"The thing is nobody wants to fight a fat guy like me,” said Nelson. "Cro Cop is a legend in this sport, and I would've loved to have fought him. I'd like to fight [Antonio Rodrigo] Nogueira for the same reason. I'd love to fight [Alistair] Overeem, Brock Lesnar or The Undertaker. [UFC President] Dana White asks people, 'So, you want to be a f---ing fighter?' I love to fight. I'm one of those guys."

Nelson also relayed that he had not been offered a replacement bout at another UFC event, and that UFC officials told him they would call when they had a fight for him.

The Aldo-Grispi bout has reportedly been verbally agreed to and fight contracts have been sent out to both camps, but the bout hasn't been finalized as of yet.

Aldo is coming off a second-round knockout of Manny Gamburyan at WEC 51 last month and has won 11 straight fights going back to November 2005. He has 14 finishes among his 18 victories and was an impressive 8-0 during his stint in the World Extreme Cagefighting promotion, which will be folded into the UFC in 2011. Grispi, who was pulled from his WEC 52 fight with Erik Koch to go against Aldo, will carry a 10-fight winning streak into the contest. Nine of those 10 wins came in the first round, and Grispi has 13 finishes among his 14 professional MMA victories.

It remains unclear whether or not Koch will remain on the WEC 52 card -- set for Nov. 11 in Las Vegas -- and be matched against a replacement fighter or if his next fight will be put off indefinitely. Koch has finishes in eight of his 10 professional MMA victories, including seven submissions, and has wins over Joe Pearson, T.J. O'Brien, Jameel Massouh and Bendy Casimir on his resume.

UFC 125 will be headlined by UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, who will defend his title against the only man to ever beat him in Gray Maynard. “The Bully” earned a unanimous decision victory over Edgar at UFC Fight Night in April 2008.

UFC 125 “Resolution”
Saturday, Jan. 1
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas

UFC Lightweight Championship
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard

UFC Featherweight Championship
* Jose Aldo vs. Josh Grispi

Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann
Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera
Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Antonio McKee vs. Jacob Volkmann
* Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares

* Not Official

Editor's note: This report was updated at 9:55 p.m. ET to include quotes from Nelson.
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