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Following an injury to John Hathaway this week, UFC 189 has shuffled matchups with Brandon Thatch now facing Gunnar Nelson and Cathal Pendred stepping in to face John Howard on the prelims.

Sources close to the situation confirmed the news to FOX Sports on Tuesday. UFC officials have not announced the new matchups yet. News of Pendred's new fight was first reported by SevereMMA.com.

Thatch was originally slated to face Howard on the prelims, but with the injury to Hathaway it left Nelson without an opponent.

Thatch will now step into the fight with Nelson as part of the UFC 189 main card on July 11 in Las Vegas.

Nelson's teammate Cathal Pendred, who just defeated Augusto Montano at UFC 188 two weeks ago, will now step in to face Howard instead.

Pendred has been asking for a fight ever since his last bout in Mexico City and now he'll get the chance to step up and fight at UFC 189 in Las Vegas.

UFC 189 takes place on July 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with Jose Aldo facing Conor McGregor in the main event along with Robbie Lawler defending the welterweight title against Rory MacDonald in the co-main event.

LINK: Brandon Thatch faces Gunnar Nelson, Cathal Pendred in against John Howard at UFC 189 | FOX Sports
Bellator 138 took place on Friday night at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri and the card was headlined by Kimbo Slice defeating Ken Shamrock by TKO on the first round.


According to Sports TV Ratings, Bellator 138’s preliminary live viewership landed at 1.58 million total viewers and the replay showing of the event (12:03-3:25 a.m. ET) came in with 339,000 viewers.

The average of 1.58 million is the largest viewership for a Bellator card and the previous record was 1.2 million for last year’s Bellator 131.

With the viewership from Friday night, the overall average for a Bellator event under Scott Coker is now at 750,000 viewers. The average for a “tent pole” event is 1.217 million and the other events have averaged 615,000 viewers.

Bellator 122: 572,000
Bellator 123: 667,000
Bellator 124: 771,000
Bellator 125: 742,000
Bellator 126: 656,000
Bellator 127: 609,000
Bellator 128: 668,000
Bellator 129: 564,000
Bellator 130: 664,000
Bellator 131: 1.2 million *
Bellator 132: 767,000
Bellator 133: 565,000
Bellator 134: 872,000 *
Bellator 135: 607,000
Bellator 136: 655,000
Bellator 137: 594,000
Bellator 138: 1.58 million
Bellator 138 averages 1.58 million; largest average audience in Bellator history | The MMA Report

Since 2013, UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone has fought 11 times. Within that period, there was a nine month span...

Jimmy Smith stopped by the community to give his opinion on Kimbo vs Shamrock at Bellator 138

Gilbert Melendez said the altitude played a big part in why he lost to Eddie Alvarez two weeks ago. Had the UFC lightweight contender traveled to Mexico City earlier, much like Fabricio Werdum did, things could have been different.

But Melendez told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that leaving home for Mexico weeks earlier just was not practical from a financial perspective.

"I wish I could have been there a month earlier," Melendez said. "I wish I had a budget and pay that I could fly out all my training partners. Realistically, you can't just get out there five, six weeks early. Maybe Fabricio [Werdum] did it. It would have been tough to fly all my partners, my coaches who actually have the business at the gym. It just didn't make sense."

LINK: Gilbert Melendez says getting to Mexico City weeks early 'didn't make sense' financially - MMA Fighting

Although Ken Shamrock came up short in Friday’s Bellator 138 headliner against Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, the 51-year-old MMA vet still seems to have some willing opponents.

In fact, one is a familiar foe: fellow UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie.

Gracie (14-2-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who recently joined Bellator as a brand ambassador, hasn’t entered the cage since 2007. However, the 48-year-old early UFC star, who defeated Shamrock (28-16-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) at UFC 1 and fought him to a draw at UFC 5, is apparently willing to come out of semi-retirement.

Prior to Friday’s event in St. Louis, 51-year-old Shamrock spoke to Bellator President Scott Coker and mentioned he’d like to fight Shamrock again. When Gracie was told about the conversation, he was hardly dismissive of the idea.

“That’s good,” Gracie said with a laugh. “When you’re at the top, everyone wants to fight you.”

Admittedly, the possibility took a hit when Shamrock suffered a first-round TKO loss to Slice in the Spike TV headliner. But as Bellator has shown, MMA fans are clearly willing to watch familiar names – no matter their age or lack of recent activity.

Although Gracie talked about the hypothetical Shamrock fight on the condition he’d win on Friday, the loss might not be a deal-breaker. Gracie, after all, seems ready for a challenge.

“Body feels good, not injured, (I’m) healthy and same weight from 20 years ago,” he said.

Check out the above video as Gracie discusses Shamrock, Bellator, the organization’s upcoming single-night tournament, his own tourney history and more.


LINK: Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock III? Gracie willing to do it in Bellator cage | MMAjunkie