It didn’t take long to find Justin Gaethje a new opponent.
After Al Iaquinta bowed out of the UFC Fight Night: Lincoln main event for undisclosed reasons, the UFC announced that #11 ranked James Vick is now set to battle Gaethje on August 25th. It’s the first main event for Vick, whereas this will be Gaethje’s third headlining act in four UFC appearances.
Vick (13-1) is on a four-fight winning streak, most recently earning a unanimous decision over Francisco Trinaldo at UFC Fight Night: Austin in February. “The Texecutioner” has notable stoppage victories over Abel Trujillo and Joseph Duffy, and his only professional setback was a KO vs. Beneil Dariush in 2016.
Gaethje (18-2) is on a two-fight losing streak, suffering knockouts against both Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. The former WSOF champion’s lone UFC win was a come-from-behind TKO of Michael Johnson in his debut, and all three bouts he’s had inside the Octagon have been classics. Only four of his 20 professional contests have ended in something other than a KO or TKO.
Vick was originally scheduled to fight Paul Felder at UFC Fight Night: Boise on July 14th, so once again officials have to scramble to find a replacement fighter for Felder, as was the case at UFC 223 when Al Iaquinta was pulled from their bout to go face Khabib Nurmagomedov at the last-minute. Hopefully Felder can remain on that card, or else he’ll once again have to wait for his first fight of 2018.