UFC 109: Relentless (Feb. 6th, 2010-- see now-inaccurate poster at left) has already taken three serious hits to its originally stellar line-up. The first and second came when Rogerio "Lil' Nog" Nogueira (18-3) was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout with Brandon "The Truth" Vera (11-4), who will now face Jon Jones (9-1) on January 11th's Ultimate Fight Night 20, instead.
Then the latest hit to UFC 109 came yesterday when Josh Koscheck (14-4) announced that, due to injury, he has been forced to pull out of his potential revenge bout against Paulo Thiago (12-1). Thiago pulled off arguably the greatest upset of 2009 when he finished "Kos" by TKO in the first round at UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson. It was a controversial stoppage because Koscheck seemed to be recovering when the ref called the bout, plus Thiago was getting dominated on the feet until he landed a hook from nowhere to drop Josh to the mat. "Kos" certainly would have relished the opportunity to even the score and fans would have loved to see the fight, but now it will have to wait. Koscheck's American Kickboxing Academy team mate, Mike "Quick" Swick (14-3) has agreed to step-up to take the fight on relatively short notice, which is bold given that "Quick" is coming off a somewhat embarrassing, one-sided loss to current welterweight number-one contender Dan Hardy (23-6) at UFC 105: Couture vs. Vera.
In a nut-shell, half of the fighters featured on the promotional poster above have already pulled out of UFC 109:Relentless. Given that the show is headlined by a pair of roughly forty-five-year-olds, one of whom, Mark Coleman (16-9), has pulled out of two of his last four scheduled fights with a chronic knee injury, UFC 109 is definitely teetering on the edge of total disaster.
Then again, considering how savagely this weekend's UFC 108 was besieged by injuries, this set-back probably represents just another day at the office to the UFC brass.