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A Look at the Top UFC Champs and Contenders on the Shelf with Injury

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent IMay 9, 2014

A Look at the Top UFC Champs and Contenders on the Shelf with Injury

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    Injuries have been a huge issue in the UFC over the past several years, with top contenders and champions dropping like flies.

    Dominick Cruz was forced to relinquish his title due to injury. Meanwhile, countless other fighters have lost out on title shots because they got hurt and had to pull out.

    It seems that not as many fighters are injured right now, but there are still a lot of top guys who are out. Let's take a look at who they are, and let me know if I've forgotten anyone. 

Heavyweight

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    Junior dos Santos

    Dos Santos was expected to face Stipe Miocic at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale, but he was forced to pull out with a hand injury on May 5.

    The Brazilian was replaced by countryman Fabio Maldonado.

     

    Alistair Overeem

    Overeem last fought at UFC 169, where he won a unanimous decision over Frank Mir.

    The Dutchman was not yet scheduled for another fight, and in early April decided to have surgery on his elbow.

    His timetable for return is unknown.

     

    Travis Browne

    Browne last fought on April 19, and he was beat up badly by Fabricio Werdum.

    During the fight, Browne suffered a broken hand and rib.

     

    Roy Nelson

    Nelson last fought Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and knocked him out in the first round.

    In the process of that knockout, Nelson broke his hand, and it will require surgery to repair. 

Light Heavyweight

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    Rashad Evans

    Evans looks to be our only big injury in the light heavyweight division.

    He was supposed to face Daniel Cormier at UFC 170, but a leg injury forced him out 10 days before the event.

    Evans was originally only supposed to be out for a month, but he is now not due back until the fall. 

Middleweight

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    Anderson Silva

    Does anybody not know what happened to Anderson?

    I'll tell you anyway.

    Silva was attempting to reclaim his middleweight title from Chris Weidman at UFC 168 in July. He threw a leg kick, Weidman checked it and Silva's leg broke.

    The Brazilian has been making great progress in his recovery, although his return date is unknown.

     

    Ronaldo Souza

    Jacare's last fight came against Francis Carmont in February.

    He won a unanimous decision, but later revealed that he was injured during his training camp. He said it would take a minimum of six weeks to recover. 

Welterweight

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    Johny Hendricks

    Hendricks is the current welterweight champion and is also due back in training soon.

    He last fought against Robbie Lawler for the vacant welterweight title, a fight he won via unanimous decision, but he also suffered a torn bicep.

    He is due to return to training this month.

     

    Carlos Condit

    Carlos Condit suffered his injury mid-fight, and it was pretty clear what it was.

    After an awkward takedown and some leg kicks from Tyron Woodley, Condit fell. He tore his ACL and partially tore his meniscus.

     

    Tarec Saffiedine

    Saffiedine has had some injury issues since coming to the UFC from Strikeforce.

    Most recently, he had to pull out of a fight against Jake Ellenberger due to an undisclosed injury. 

Lightweight

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    TJ Grant

    You've got to feel bad for Grant. He was supposed to fight Benson Henderson for the title, but he was forced out with a concussion.

    Later rescheduled for a title fight with Anthony Pettis, Grant again had to pull out, as he was not medically cleared from his concussion.

    His timeframe for return is unknown. 

Bantamweight

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    Dominick Cruz

    This is another case that many should already be aware of.

    Way back in 2011, Cruz was coaching The Ultimate Fighter against Urijah Faber, and they were supposed to fight for the third time after that.

    Unfortunately, in May 2012, Cruz tore his ACL and had to pull out of the fight. In December 2012, Cruz underwent another ACL surgery after his body rejected the first one.

    He was then supposed to come back and unify the titles by fighting Renan Barao, but he injured his groin and had to pull out of the fight.

    Following that, his title was stripped after three years of inactivity. 

Women's Bantamweight

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    Amanda Nunes

    Nunes was supposed to face Sarah Kaufman as an injury replacement for Shayna Baszler, but she was later forced to pull out as well after suffering a dislocated thumb.

     

    Julianna Pena

    You may have heard about Pena's injury from Dana White, as he was livid about this one.

    Pena was injured at her gym, and her ACL, MCL, LCL and meniscus were all torn. She is likely to be out all of 2014 and most of 2015. 

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