Jared Rollins. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“Ultimate Fighter” alumnus Jared Rollins has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout against fellow former cast member Ben Saunders at UFC 87: Seek and Destroy, which will take place next Saturday night, August 9th, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rollins will be replaced by midwestern welterweight prospect Ryan Thomas.
The UFC confirmed the switch this afternoon on their official website. The reasoning behind Rollins’ withdrawal remains unknown. Thomas, who is riding a two-fight winning streak, last defeated Jason Bowling via TKO at Extreme Challenge 94 in April. His lone career loss came courtesy of Jesse Lennox earlier this year.
Saunders, a member of Florida-based American Top Team, remains undefeated so far in his professional mixed martial arts career. After falling to eventual runner-up Tommy Speer in the quarterfinals of the reality show, Saunders won a unanimous decision over Dan Barrera at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale.
Hermes Franca throws a left hook at Spencer Fisher during their bout in January 2007. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced four previously rumored preliminary bouts that will take place as part of the organization’s upcoming “Seek and Destroy” event, which will take place on August 9th at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
UFC heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo will attempt to bounce back from a heartbreaking decision loss to Heath Herring back in March when he takes on newcomer Dan Evensen, a BodogFight veteran who has won his last four fights, most recently a decision win over Konstantin Gluhov last November.
Former lightweight title contender Hermes Franca will fight for the first time since testing positive for steroids, along with his last opponent, Sean Sherk, under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission. He will go up against standout wrestler Frankie Edgar, who suffered his first professional loss against Gray Maynard in April.
Additional non-televised matches that were announced include a battle between cast members of the sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, pitting Ben Saunders against Jared Rollins, as well as a welterweight bout featuring Chris Wilson and Steve Bruno.
UFC 87 is headlined by newly crowned UFC welterweight champion George St. Pierre’s first title defense against top contender Jon Fitch, who has won his first eight bouts with the promotion. A bout between lightweight contenders Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian will also take place. Former professional wrestler turned mixed martial artist Brock Lesnar will return to action against longtime veteran Heath Herring as well.
Jared Rollins throws a left hand at George Sotiropoulos. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Ben Saunders and Jared Rollins, who both served as contestants on the sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, will likely meet in a welterweight bout at UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin on July 5th.
The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who have confirmed with a source close to one of the fighters that at least one bout agreement has been signed.
Saunders, a member of Florida’s American Top Team, remains undefeated so far in his professional mixed martial arts career. After falling to eventual runner-up Tommy Speer in the quarterfinals of the reality show, Saunders won a unanimous decision over Dan Barrera at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale.
Rollins’ exit from the show’s tournament was early as he was knocked out by semifinalist George Sotiropoulos in the first round. Rollins then took on Jon Koppenhaver in a fight of the year candidate at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale, dominating Koppenhaver over two rounds before abruptly being stopped with strikes late in the third.
UFC 86 will be headlined by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s first light heavyweight title defense in nearly a year as he will take on Forrest Griffin, who is currently serving as one of the coaches alongside Jackson on the current seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”