Well, it wasn’t Khabib Nurmagomedov tanking the UFC on Fox 19 main event, as FoxSports.com reported Tuesday evening that Tony Ferguson is out of their fight with an injury. As a result, the light heavyweight fight between Rashad Evans and Glover Teixeira will now serve as the main event for the April 16 card from Tampa, Fla.
With less than two weeks to go before the event, the UFC opted to pull Nurmagomedov from the card to book him on a later event. There’s no word on the exact nature of Ferguson’s injury, nor on how long he’ll be on the sidelines. As for Nurmagomedov, this extends his nearly two year layoff even further.
Evans returned from a lengthy layoff of his own last October, losing to Ryan Bader in that return by decision. The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion was supposed to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on this card before Rua’s own injury. Instead, he meets Brazil’s Teixeira, who has won two straight fights.
Penick’s Analysis: This was the fight I was most anticipating this month. Awful news. The only potential bright side is that the UFC could book Nurmagomedov against Rafael dos Anjos as soon as they’re ready in a Lightweight Title bout, seeing as Nurmagomedov was the last man to beat the current champion. Other than that, this is awful news. It hurts the April schedule, it’s a massive blow to this Fox event, and it’s a highly unfortunate loss for the lightweight division.
[Photo (c) Joe Camporeale via USA Today Sports]
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