by Brian Knapp (email@example.com) – Sherdog – Original here
Javier Vazquez will make his anticipated return to mixed martial arts competition on Saturday but not against UFC veteran Din Thomas.
Just hours before their scheduled featherweight bout, the Vazquez camp confirmed that Thomas bowed out of the match at Fight Force International â€œUltimate Chaosâ€ at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss. Vazquez, who announced his retirement following a 2007 submission victory against JC Pennington, will instead lock horns with Mark Kergosien, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist anchored in Mississippi.
â€œDin pulled out,â€ said Romie Aram, a UFC veteran and one of the founders of the Millennia Mixed Martial Arts Training Center, where Vazquez trains. â€œHe had issues making weight and got himself sick.â€
Thomas (24-8), an American Top Team product, checked in at 146.6 pounds at the official weigh-in on Friday.
Vazquez (12-2), a four-time U.S. Open Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion, overcame three career-threatening knee injuries to return to the MMA scene after three-year layoff in 2007. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who has remained on the sportâ€™s radar for a decade, Vazquez has twice had to pass up chances to compete in the UFC — first against Hermes Franca at UFC 43 in 2003 and again against former welterweight champion Matt Serra at UFC 46 in 2004. Injuries kept him out of both events.
Vazquez, who has never been finished in 14 career bouts, will carry a three-fight winning streak into his appearance at â€œUltimate Chaos.â€ He holds victories against Shooto legend Rumina Sato and UFC veteran Robert Emerson.
TJ De Santis and Dave Mandel contributed to this report.