UFC newcomer Dan Stittgen (7-1) has been tapped as a replacement to fight fellow rookie Stephen Thompson (5-0), according to reports from FightCove.com. Thompson himself was an injury replacement for Mike Stumpf (11-3).
UFC officials have yet to confirm the switch.
A 31-year-old prospect out of Midwest Training Center, Stittgen enters the UFC after capping a three-fight win streak with a decision win over Mark Stoddard in October. The grappling specialist has ripped through five first-round submission wins in three-year professional career. Ironically, Stittgen's only loss came to the man he now replaces, Justin Edwards, via a 37-second guillotine in early-2010.
Likewise, Thompson, an undefeated prospect out of Simpsonville, South Carolina, strides into the UFC after just two years on the regional circuit. Affectionately known as "Wonderboy," the Pitch Black MMA product has three stoppage wins and last appeared in October, defeating Patrick Mandio via unanimous decision.
UFC 143 takes place Super Bowl weekend, February 4th, at the Mandalay Bay Events Centers in Las Vegas, Nevada. An interim welterweight title bout between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit is the night's main event.
UFC 143 fight card:
Interim Welterweight Championship: Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit
Heavyweight: Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum
Bantamweight: Scott Jorgensen vs. Renan Barao
Welterweight: Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
Featherweight: Dustin Poirier vs. Max Holloway
Bantamweight: Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa
Welterweight: Jorge Lopez vs. Matt Riddle
Middleweight: Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks
Welterweight: Matt Brown vs. Chris Cope
Welterweight: Dan Stittgen vs. Stephen Thompson
Middleweight: Rafael Natal vs. Michael Kuiper