MMA News

James Vick replaces Al Iaquinta, meets Justin Gaethje in new UFC Lincoln headliner



It didn’t take long for the UFC to find a replacement for Al Iaquinta to fight Justin Gaethje at UFC Fight Night 135.

Just hours after Iaquinta said he was not going to fight Gaethje (18-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at the August event, James Vick (13-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) has agreed to step in and fight in the new lightweight headliner.

UFC official confirmed the matchup following an initial report from ESPN.

UFC Fight Night 135 takes place Aug. 25 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb. The card is expected to air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Gaethje, No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, will enter the event following back-to-back losses. The former WSOF champ was stopped in consecutive fights by Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier after beginning his career on an 18-fight winning streak.

No. 10-ranked Vick, who is riding a four-fight winning streak at 155 pounds, was scheduled to fight Paul Felder at UFC Fight Night 133 on July 14, but now “The Irish Dragon” is left without an opponent for the second consecutive time after he was also left out the shuffle when Iaquinta stepped in to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 in April.

The latest UFC Fight Night 135 lineup includes:

  • Justin Gaethje vs. James Vick
  • Deiveson Figueiredo vs. John Moraga
  • Angela Hill vs. Alexa Grasso
  • Antonio Braga Neto vs. Andrew Sanchez
  • Eryk Anders vs. Tim Williams
  • Drew Dober vs. Jon Tuck
  • Luke Sanders vs. Rani Yahya

For more on UFC Fight Night 135, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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