The UFC’s first trip to Southeast Asia will feature a substitute headliner, as Hyun Gyu Lim is replacing an injured Jake Ellenberger.
MMAjunkie.com confirmed with sources close to the event that Lim (12-3-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) now meets Tarec Saffiedine (14-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 34, which takes place Jan. 4 at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. An official announcement is expected to be made shortly.
Combate first reported Ellenberger’s withdrawal.
Lim, from Korea, will try to stay unbeaten in the UFC and stretch his seven-fight winning streak. He was already scheduled for the card and was expected to meet Kiichi Kunimoto (15-5-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who will now await a new assignment.
Lim debuted with the company in March in Japan with a knockout win over Marcelo Guimaraes. And he followed that up in August with a first-round knockout of Pascal Krauss at UFC 164.
Saffiedine finally will make his UFC debut. He was expected to make his first appearance for the promotion at UFC on FOX 8 against Robbie Lawler, but he was forced out with an injury. The fight will be his first since winning Strikeforce’s final welterweight title with a unanimous decision win over Marquardt at that promotion’s January finale. The Belgian, who trains at California’s Team Quest, will bring a four-fight winning streak into the bout.
A timetable for Ellenberger’s return wasn’t immediately established.
With the change to the main event, the UFC Fight Night 34 lineup now includes:
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Hyun Gyu Lim*
Hacran Dias vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Kiichi Kunimoto vs. TBA
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Shunichi Shimizu
Katsunori Kikuno vs. Quinn Mulhern
Dustin Kimura vs. Jon Delos Reyes
Will Chope vs. Max Holloway
David Galera vs. Royston Wee