Alex Karalexis is out of a previously announced fight against Tiequan Zhang at WEC 51 and will be replaced by promotional newcomer Jason Reinhardt.
MMA Fighting learned of the change from sources close to Reinhardt's camp. The lightweight, who trains at the Pat Miletich camp in Bettendorf, Iowa, is 20-1 with just two fights going beyond the first round.
Reinhardt's lone setback came at UFC 78 to Joe Lauzon, a first-round submission loss. It was his only appearance in the UFC and his only fight thus far with a major promotion.
The WEC last week made official the signing of Zhang, the promotion's first fighter from mainland China, and announced he would be fighting Karalexis, a participant on the inaugural season of "The Ultimate Fighter." The bout was scheduled for the preliminary card at WEC 51 at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo., on Sept. 30.
But now Reinhardt steps in as Karalexis' replacement on less than a month's notice. The 40-year-old native of Decatur, Ill., has not fought in a sanctioned bout, according to online databases, since January 2008. Sixteen of his 20 wins have come by submission, most coming on Midwestern promotions like Extreme Challenge and Courage Fighting Championships.
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