For the second time in as many months the UFC has been left scrambling to fill a headlining slot at an event around the corner, though this time around the company has at least been given more than a day to fill the void rather than be forced to pull Charlie Brenneman out of their hat at the last second.
According to a multiple reports, undefeated 205er Phil Davis has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout with Rashad Evans at UFC 133 after suffering an undisclosed knee injury in training. MMAFighting was the first to relay news of the pending change to the August 6 lineup where it was also stated the UFC is expected to announce a replacement in the next few days.
In a related story, Brazilian publication Tatame has cited Lyoto Machida’s wife as informing them her husband was offered a rematch with Evans but had not decided on whether or not he would accept it given the turnaround time. The two former title-holders first fought in 2009 at UFC 98 where Machida knocked Evans out in the second round to win the UFC light heavyweight belt.
UPDATE: It has since been reported she’s come forward to say her husband has declined the short-notice fight.
Regardless of who Evans is paired against in Philadelphia, it appears the 15-1 Ultimate Fighter season-winner will now receive his third scheduled opponent after injuries claimed his first two foes, Davis and current champion Jon Jones. Adding another layer of difficulty to the situation, the bout also marks the first in-ring appearance for “Sugar” ‘Shad since beating Quinton Jackson more than a year ago at UFC 114.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC