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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
There have been some shakeups in the lightweight division for next week's UFC 172 pay-per-view card in Baltimore, stemming from an injury to Bobby Green that took him out of a fight with Jim Miller.
With that injury, the UFC has shifted Yancy Medeiros into the fight with Miller, taking him out of a bout with Joe Ellenberger. According to a report from MMAFighting.com, Vagner Rocha is now stepping in to fill that vacant slot opposite Ellenberger.
Hawaii's Medeiros is returning to action for the first time since last November, where he had a knockout win over Yves Edwards negated by a failed drug test for marijuana. He takes on Miller, who submitted Fabricio Camoes in his most recent performance.
Ellenberger, twin brother of UFC welterweight Jake, is making his UFC debut with a 14-1 overall record, which includes 12 stoppage wins. However, he hasn't fought since December of 2012. He now meets Rocha, who returns to the UFC after a couple of years outside the organization.
Rocha went 1-2 in three UFC appearances in 2011 and 2012, losing to Donald Cerrone and Jonathan Brookins while picking up a win over Cody McKenzie. Since his release in early 2012, he's won four straight fights, submitting three opponents.
Saturday's UFC 172 event is the UFC's debut in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. The card is headlined by a Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira.
Penick's Analsysis: They went the correct route with these changes here. Miller-Medeiros is an interesting matchup, as Medeiros' only loss came by injury, and he's a talented striker who could do damage against a declining Miller. That said, Miller's as dangerous as ever in his submission game, and is a big veteran challenge for Medeiros. Rocha getting tapped as a late replacement gives him an opportunity to start fresh in the UFC, but he's got a very difficult fight ahead of him in Ellenberger.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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