A huge blow was just dealt to the UFC 170 card as Rashad Evans has announced that he suffered a leg injury and will be unable to compete in the co-main event. The development was first announced by Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole on Twitter:
Evans was slated to compete opposite former heavyweight standout Daniel Cormier. Cormier, per Iole, will be removed from the card entirely. A heavyweight standout, he was scheduled to make his highly anticipated light heavyweight debut.
"Suga'" most recently demolished former middleweight and light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen at UFC 167. He easily outwrestled Sonnen en route to a first-round TKO victory. That, combined with his win over former two-division Pride FC champion Dan Henderson, put him in the running for a possible bout with champion Jon Jones.
The bout is a huge blow to the UFC 170 card. While it features a strong headline in a title bout between Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann, Evans vs. Cormier was a very, very strong co-main event and was a critical bout for the 205-pound division.
UFC 170 has seen numerous exciting fights cancelled. A tilt between former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez and rising Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov was axed due to a contract dispute between Melendez and the UFC.
Additionally, a highly anticipated match between Rustam Khabilov and Rafael dos Anjos was nixed last week due to an injury to Khabilov (dos Anjos is now set to face Nurmagomedov at UFC on Fox 11).
It is likely that the welterweight bout between Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia will be elevated to co-main event status.
Details are still breaking, so stay here for updates as they become available.
Update 1: Iole reached out to UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and reported the following:
Just spoke to @lorenzofertitta. Rashad doesn't need surgery. Needs four weeks of rehab.— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) February 13, 2014
Update 2: Brett Okamoto from ESPN is reporting that the Evans-Cormier matchup is still planned, but will be moved according to Evans' timetable for return:
UFC's Lorenzo Fertitta says Rashad's progress will be monitored and the fight will be rebooked, likely to either 172 or 173 in Vegas.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 13, 2014