Cole Miller out, Diego Brandao in vs. Conor McGregor at UFC Fight Night Dublin

Scott HarrisMMA Lead WriterJune 3, 2014

USA Today

At least Conor McGregor's still there. He was probably the more important piece anyway.

Nevertheless, the all-too-familiar injury bug has raised another irritating welt, forcing Cole Miller out of UFC Fight Night 46, which takes place July 19 in Dublin, Ireland. Fellow featherweight Diego Brandao will take Miller's place against McGregor, the 25-year-old Irish sensation, in the evening's main event.

A thumb injury is the specific culprit behind the withdrawal. The news was first reported Tuesday evening by Damon Martin of Fox Sports.

Cole Miller (right) suffered a thumb injury in training.
Cole Miller (right) suffered a thumb injury in training.Laura Rauch/Associated Press

Brandao is an aggressive, heavy-handed and popular fighter in his own right, but Miller's injury will rob fans both in Dublin and abroad of watching Irish phenom McGregor consummate his verbal sparring match with Miller, a rangy 145-pounder who appeared to have the grappling acumen and microphone prowess to give McGregor the first big foil of his young UFC career.

Armed with flashy kickboxing, flashier sound bites and sometimes even a bowtie, McGregor (14-2) has made a big impression since joining the UFC in 2013. After rattling off two victories, McGregor went down with a knee injury. July 19 marks his return to competition.

This winter, after taking Submission of the Night honors in his second consecutive UFC win, Miller (21-8) called out McGregor, calling the Irishman "a show pony," among other things.  

"You haven't tested yourself against any kind of fighter," Miller said of McGregor. "Especially not against anyone like me."

The two took the fight to Twitter and to interviews, and the whole thing was building up to a pretty interesting main event in Dublin.

For now, fans and McGregor will have to satisfy themselves with Brandao (18-9), who is dangerous coming off a loss to Dustin Poirier in his previous engagement.