Escudero returns - faces Volkmann at UFC 141
After a high-profile split with the organization, "The Ultimate Fighter 8" champion Efrain Escudero (18-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is returning to the UFC.
Multiple sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com that T.J. Grant (17-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has suffered an undisclosed injury and has been forced out of this month's UFC 141 event. UFC officials later confirmed the change.
Now, Escudero takes Grant's place and fights fast-rising lightweight Jacob Volkmann (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC).
UFC 141 fight takes place Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event, which takes place on a Friday to avoid Sin City's usual New Year's Eve congestion, features a pay-per-view main card.
Escudero vs. Volkmann is slated for prelims that are expected to stream on Facebook.
Escudero had been slated to fight Jeff Rexroad at next week's HDNet-televised Legacy Fighting Championship 9 event in Houston. However, with the UFC fight apparently being finalized, he's expected to scratch from the Legacy card.
In the final appearance of his first UFC stint, Escudero missed weight (159 pounds) and then suffered a submission loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 22. Despite a 3-2 record in the organization, the UFC cut him after the gaffe. Since then, he's posted a 5-1 record in organizations such as Tachi Palace Fights and Bellator. The lone loss came to UFC and Strikeforce vet Fabricio Camoes via decision.
Since a pair of losses to Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann in his first two UFC fights, Volkmann has earned consecutive decision victories over Rony Torres, Paul Kelly, Antonio McKee and Danny Castillo. The former University of Minnesota All-American wrestler and practicing chiropractor dropped from welterweight to lightweight after the initial UFC losses.