The UFC is confirming that top British star, Michael "The Count" Bisping is unfortunately out of the upcoming UFC Fight Night 30 card in Manchester and will be replaced by former light heavyweight champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida. The news is a serious hit to the card that was specifically tailored for British MMA fans.
ESPN's Brett Okamoto relayed that Bisping was forced out due to an eye injury. He underwent surgery earlier this year due to a detached retina and will have to go back under the knife (figuratively, hopefully) on the same eye:
Bisping had surgery for detached retina this year. It's the same eye. Dana sounded concerned. "Hopefully he gets through this thing."— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 27, 2013
Bisping was originally scheduled to face resurgent middleweight Mark Munoz. Munoz spent almost a year away from the sport following a devastating knockout loss to Chris Weidman. He returned in July at UFC 162, and he took an easy decision win over Tim Boetsch.
Munoz, as stated, will now face off with Lyoto Machida. Machida is making his middleweight debut after spending almost his entire career fighting at light heavyweight. Machida was in the thick of title contention, but a controversial unanimous decision loss to Phil Davis knocked him far away from another chance at the belt, prompting his willingness to change divisions.
Machida was previously scheduled to fight Strikeforce import Tim Kennedy in the main event of UFC Fight for the Troops 3 in November. The UFC does not yet have a replacement for Kennedy but are looking to keep him on the card.
The bout between Machida and Munoz will remain a five-round fight and will go down on October 26. Stick with Bleacher Report for more details relating to Bisping's condition and a replacement opponent for Kennedy as they become available.