UFC Fight Night 34 in Singapore will have a new 5-round welterweight main event after Jake Ellenberger withdrew due to injury.
UFC officials confirmed the news Friday morning.
South Korean knockout artist Hyun Gyu Lim (12-3-1) will now face Tarec Saffiedine (14-3) as “The Sponge” makes his long-awaited UFC debut on Jan. 4.
Lim was already scheduled for the fight card at the Marina Bay Sands. His original opponent, Kiichi Kunimoto (15-5-2) will now meet TUF Brasil season 2 competitor Luiz “Besouro” Dutra, Jr (11-2-1).
Lim quickly disposed of his first two opponents inside the Octagon. When he debuted at UFC on FUEL TV 8, Lim knocked out Marcelo Guimares with a knee. His first Fight of the Night honor came when he finished Pascal Krauss in the first round with knees and punches at UFC 164. “The Ace” currently has a 7-fight win streak and 8 stoppage victories in the opening round.
Strikeforce’s last welterweight champion, Saffiedine, will finally make his promotional debut in January. Injuries have thus far prevented him from doing so. By the time Saffiedine squares off with Lim, it will have been a year since his last fight. Saffiedine comes into the UFC having won 4 of his last 5. His last victory was a one-sided decision in his favor over Nate Marquardt for the Strikeforce belt.
The UFC’s first fight card in Singapore is expected to air on FOX Sports 1 on Jan. 4.