The UFC suffered a big injury this year as top welterweight Rory MacDonald had to pull out of his UFC 158 co-main event fight with Carlos Condit. Tarec Saffiedine was offered the spot, but opted not to take it as he wanted more than three weeks to prepare for such a task.
“I have a lot of respect for Carlos, and I’d love to fight him, but I believe I need a healthier camp and a longer camp,” said Saffiedine on MMA Junkie Radio. “Three-and-a-half weeks is kind of short for a fighter like him and that’s basically is why I didn’t do the fight.”
Of the Strikeforce fighters that crossed over into the UFC, Saffiedine was one of discussion. He won the Strikeforce welterweight championship in his last fight, despite being the underdog against UFC veteran Nate Marquardt. He used repeated shots to the leg to secure that decision win.
Johny Hendricks was ultimately named as a replacement for MacDonald and now meets Condit.
MacDonald is not able to train since suffering an apparent back and neck injury that will keep him out of action for about a month. Saffiedine is yet to debut for the UFC since he won on the final Strikeforce card in early January.
Condit vs. Hendricks comes from the Bell Centre in Canada on March 16.