Former UFC lightweight champion Rashad Evans injured a knee in training and his bout at UFC 170 against unbeaten Daniel Cormier has been canceled. The Event was scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said there are no details on the injury, but doctors said that Evans would at least need four weeks of rehabilitation. Fertitta added that officials would probably look to add the fight to UFC 172 in Baltimore on April 26.
The fight between Rory MacDonald and Demain Maia is expected to move into the slot as the co-main event behind the women’s bantamweight title fight between Ronda Rousey and challenger Sara McMann.
Cormier, a close friend and broadcast partner of Evans on UFC broadcasts on Fox, was preparing to make the move from heavyweight to light heavyweight, but his debut at 205 pounds will now have to wait. After hearing the news, he was profoundly disappointed.
“This is just so devastating,” Cormier said. “It’s so close and I’ve worked so hard. My family has sacrificed so much. I have hardly seen my girlfriend and my kids the last eight or nine weeks. I was trying to do this right. This is very hard for me. I didn’t make the weight at the Olympics and it cost me a chance to wrestle for an Olympic gold medal. I was making so sure I did everything right and that I was prepared. This is a killer. Obviously, I feel horrible for Rashad, too, and I have to call him, but this really hurts. I’m just hoping they can find some way — maybe even a heavyweight — and give me a fight and keep me on that card.”
Cormier was the captain of the 2008 US Olympic team, but as he was cutting weight to make the 211-pound limit, he had kidney failure and could not compete.