A pair of Ohio-based fighters have swapped spots on the UFC 96 fight card.
An undisclosed injury has forced Dustin Hazelett (12-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) out of a bout with Ben Saunders (7-0-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC). UFC newcomer Ryan Madigan (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who recently signed a four-fight deal with the organization, will take his spot on the card.
UFC 96 takes place March 7 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and features a main event between Quinton Jackson and Keith Jardine.
The Ohio-based North American Allied Fight Series, an organization in which Madigan previously competed, recently announced the deal.
Madigan, based out of Cuyahoga Falls (near Akron), is a former kickboxer who previously competed in the World Combat League. His transition into MMA has been a smooth one; Madigan is now 5-0 with five stoppages since turning pro in 2006.
Saunders, a cast member from "The Ultimate Fighter 6," has posted three consecutive victories since joining the UFC. The list includes a decision victory over Dan Barrera, a submission victory over Ryan Thomas, and a brutal TKO of Brandon Wolff in his most recent fight at December UFC Fight Night 16 event.
Hazelett declined to comment on the injury when contacted by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) over the weekend.