Starks Replaces Tavares at UFC 137; Jorgensen-Curran Moved to PPV

By Mike Whitman Oct 21, 2011
The UFC 137 shuffle continues, as the promotion on Friday announced two more changes to the card.

Brad Tavares has suffered an injury and will be unable to compete as expected against Dustin Jacoby. Instead, Jacoby will now face fellow Octagon newcomer Clifford Starks.

The Tavares-Jacoby bout had been promoted to main card status following the collapse of the headliner due to welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre suffering a knee injury. However, with the removal of Tavares, the Jacoby-Starks clash has been demoted to the undercard in favor of a bantamweight scrap between former WEC standouts Scott Jorgensen and Jeff Curran.

Headlined by a welterweight showdown between B.J. Penn and Nick Diaz, UFC 137 will emanate from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The main draw will also feature a pair of heavyweight confrontations pitting Cheick Kongo against Matt Mitrione and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic against Roy Nelson, as well as a featherweight scrap between former Sengoku Raiden Championship titleholder Hatsu Hioki and George Roop.

Jacoby is unbeaten through six bouts as a professional, with only one opponent taking him past the first frame. The middleweight enters the Octagon coming off the quickest win of his career, knocking out Billy Horne in just 37 seconds on Sept. 4.

Like his foe, Starks is also undefeated. With seven professional bouts to his credit and three decision wins, he holds the advantage in cage time. The 30-year-old Arizona Combat Sports representative has already fought four times in 2011, most recently besting Artenas Young at Shark Fights 20 just six days ago.

Jorgensen, like Curran, has tried and failed to capture WEC gold in the past. “Young Guns” had a five-fight winning streak snapped by reigning UFC champion Dominick Cruz in December, falling to “The Dominator” in a lopsided unanimous decision at WEC 53. Jorgensen sought redemption against Ken Stone in his last outing, knocking out the American Top Team fighter with brutal ground-and-pound in June.

Curran (Pictured, File Photo) challenged Urijah Faber for the WEC featherweight title in 2007. After posting a strong first round, during which he took Faber’s back, Curran was submitted by “The California Kid” in the second stanza, succumbing to Faber’s patented guillotine choke. UFC 137 marks the 13-year veteran’s return to the Octagon after a seven-year hiatus. Curran’s lone UFC appearance came in a lightweight loss to Matt Serra at UFC 46.


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