One of the premier bouts on the next big UFC card on FOX has been changed.
Michael Johnson is injured and has to pull out of his fight with Josh Thomson at UFC Fight Night: Lawler vs. Brown on July 26 in San Jose, the UFC confirmed with FOX Sports on Friday. MMA Junkie first reported the story.
Johnson (15-8) has won three straight fights and this represented a chance to propel himself into title contention. Thomson has been one of the best lightweights in the world for years. It was immediately unclear what Johnson’s injury is and how long he’ll be out. Johnson, 28, is currently No. 9 in the UFC’s official lightweight contender rankings.
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Thomson (20-6, 1 NC) is ranked No. 3 in the division and coming off a very tight split decision loss to Benson Henderson in January. He’s just 2-3 in his last five fights, but a TKO win over Nate Diaz in his UFC return last April reaffirmed the former Strikeforce champion’s status as a top lightweight.
With Johnson sidedlined due to injury, UFC officials have tapped Bobby Green to step in and replace him against Thomson on the July 26 card. Green was originally scheduled to face Abel Trujillo at UFC Fight Night in Bangor, Maine in August, but he’s being pulled in favor of this fight. UFC officials will find a new opponent for Trujillo for his fight in Maine.
Green (22-5) is currently riding a seven fight win streak with a perfect 3-0 record in the UFC thus far. The former Strikeforce veteran has been making a steady climb up the divisional rankings, but this will be by far his biggest fight facing a former champion and top five ranked lightweight in Thomson.
The new fight between Green and Thomson will remain on the main televised fight card airing on FOX on July 26.