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UFC 72: O’Brien Out With Major Injury; Murphy’s Fight In Doubt

According to UFC Junkie rising heavyweight contender Jake O’Brien has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 72 fight with Tom Murphy due to a major injury. O’Brien has long been plagued with “stingers” and had attempted to fight through the injury but they forced him to withdraw from the fight several weeks ago.

Justin McCully was quickly lined up as a replacement but after he was denied medical clearance on his elbow which was injured in his UFC debut, a win over Antoni Hardonk at UFC Fight Night 9 in April. It is typical procedure for UFC (and all MMA fighters) to be medically suspended until cleared by an orthopedic doctor. The denial would suggest he was not sufficiently healed to have the temporary ban lifted.

As of now Tom Murphy is opponent-less for his undercard fight at UFC 72. Murphy is just a 2-0 MMA fighter debuting 15+ months ago in the UFC at UFC 58 where he posted a win over Icho Larenas.

The fight (and the entire event) has been full of controversey. Originally scheduled for HBO or Spike the event was eventually made a PPV which angered many fans who simply don’t feel the card is top knotch or worth the $40 it costs for a PPV. The controversey continued as just 4 fights are guaranteed to be broadcast. The one glaring omission from the main card was Jake O’Brien’s return to the octagon.

“Irish” made a name for himself when he upset Heath Herring in his UFC debut earlier this year. Many thought he would be a lock to be televised on the UFC event from Ireland although that turned out not to be the case, much to the dismay of many fans who had hoped to see him fight again on TV (even if it was PPV).  It now appears that those fans will be waiting indefinately for O’Brien to return to fighting.

No timetable has been set for a return with the severity of the nerve injury creating a highly variable situation. A relatively minor injury may put O’Brien out for a matter of months while a serious problem could put “Irish” down for the count.

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