From current top ranked pound-for-pound fighter Jon Jones being removed from his UFC 200 headliner versus Daniel Cormier to Anderson Silva filling in and saving the day, the UFC has dominated the news this week with announcement after announcement, positive or negative.
Unfortunately, today presented more negative.
Per Combate, the longest active champion in the promotion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (24-2-1, 12-1-1 in UFC) is injured and will not be able to participate in his next flyweight title defence at UFC 201 versus Wilson Reis (20-6, 4-2 in UFC).
Since the establishment of the 125-pound division, Johnson, 29, has been nothing less than a symbol of true greatness and pure domination as he is an undefeated 9-0 with 8 title defences and a pair of victories over two of the best flyweight contenders to ever inhabit the division, John Dodson and Joseph Benavidez.
In Mighty Mouse’s last performance at UFC 197, he was again masterful, for knocked out Olympic gold medal wrestler Henry Cejudo less than three minutes into the first round.
With the division cleaned out, Johnson was matched up for what would have been his 9th title defence, this time versus 8th ranked Wilson Reis. Reis, 31, is a true boxer with great skill in jiu-jitsu and punishing opponents with lethal ground and pounds. However, by no means, has the Brazilian had the same activity or success as his future opponent, considering he has fought just two times since the beginning of 2015 and is 1-1 during the span.
Despite Mighty Mouse’s undisclosed ailment being set to keep him out of the co-main event, his match-up with Reis is not going anywhere. Moreover, whenever the Kentucky native is healthy, he will step into the octagon versus Reis, eying a title defence that will tie him with all-time great Georges St-Pierre and move him one away from matching Anderson Silva for the most consecutive in UFC history.
But, as of now, there is no rescheduled date and no medical timetable for his return.
UFC 201 takes place at Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on July 30th, headlined by a UFC welterweight title fight between champion Robbie Lawler (27-10, 12-4 in UFC) and challenger, #3 Tyron Woodley (15-3, 5-2 in UFC).
James Gallagher out of Bellator 187 in Dublin due to injury
Irish fans will have to wait a little longer to see James Gallagher fighting on home soil after Gallagher suffered a knee injury in preparation for his main event fight with Jeremiah Labiano in Dublin next month. This bad news was first reported by MMAFighting.com.
The 20-year-old from Strabane co. Tyrone who trains in the famous SBG gym with Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson among others has set the featherweight division alight since joining Bellator in 2016. James “The Strabanimal” Gallagher has gone 3-0 with all three of his wins coming by rear naked choke.
After submitting Chinzo Machida, the brother of former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida in Madison Square Garden Gallagher has become a budding star for Bellator.
Due to the youngster’s attitude and potential, many comparisons between Gallagher and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor have been made by the fans and media which has made Gallagher one of Bellator’s most recognizable names. This notoriety has ultimately led to the young Irishman getting a chance to headline in Dublin this November but this injury has delayed his rise for the time being.
Gallagher on social media Thursday stated that he has suffered an injury to his PCL and LCL in his knee and would be out for the remainder of the year. He has assured fans we would return next year and carry on where he started with “The Jimmy show.”
His longtime rival AJ McKee, who has engaged in a Twitter war with Gallagher after his last fight, will now headline Bellator 187 in the 3 Arena in Dublin on November 10th against Gallagher’s SBG teammate Brian Moore. Moore will be making his third appearance for Bellator in this featherweight clash.
UFC 216: Paige VanZant Pulls Out of Fight with Jessica Eye
The UFC 216 card looks to have suffered a major blow as Paige VanZant has been pulled from the card citing a back injury, per Ariel Helwani.
VanZant (7-3) has not fought since losing to Michelle Waterson back in December 2016 and was scheduled to make her Flyweight debut against the unranked Jessica Eye.
As of, MMA Fighting, the number 10 ranked UFC Strawweight suffered an intervertebral disc injury whilst training jiu-jitsu, and was advised by her doctor to miss training for a few weeks.
Not only is this a major blow for VanZant as she looks to regain some momentum following her last outing, but it must be considered a huge blow for the UFC as VanZant is a popular figure who can contribute significantly to the buy rate.
Eye (11-6) will also be feeling hard done by on this occasion, as this marks the second time in a row her opponent has pulled out of scheduled bout, she was looking to make things right after suffering four defeats in a row.
The injury will not require surgery so there is a possibility of rescheduling the contest for a later date, although nothing has yet been mentioned. It remains to be seen whether Eye will wait, or ask to be rescheduled with a new opponent.
UFC 216 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on October 7th and is headlined by Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee for the Interim Lightweight Championship, it also features UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson as he takes on Ray Borg in his record eleventh title defence.
Germaine de Randamie out of UFC Fight Night 115
Former UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Germaine de Randamie has been forced out of next weeks Fight Night event in Rotterdam. The Dutch fighter was set to fight Marion Reneau in the UFC’s return to the Netherlands. The news was first reported by MMA Junkie.
— Marion Reneau (@BelizeanBruiser) August 26, 2017
‘GDR’ won the Women’s Featherweight belt back in February after beating former Women’s bantamweight champion, Holly Holm. The kickboxer won the fight by a controversial decision after punching Holm after the bell in two rounds. Germaine also injured her hand in the fight and announced shortly after that she would need surgery. GDR never ended up getting the surgery and that same injury has now forced her out of the upcoming fight.
Germaine ended up getting her title stripped a few months later after she refused to defend the belt against the now current champion, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. She told many reporters that she considered Cyborg a cheater after she ended up failing a drug test for performance enhancing drugs. After a lot of backlash from both fans and fighters, the UFC stripped her title and made a new title fight at UFC 214 between Cyborg and Tonya Evinger. Cyborg ended up winning the fight by TKO in the 3rd round.
The UFC plan on keeping her former opponent Marion Reneau on the card and are currently searching for a replacement opponent. Reneau is currently coming off of a majority draw against Brazilian fighter Bethe Correia. Reneau’s biggest win so far in the UFC is against Jessica Andrade in a fight she won by submission via triangle choke.
The card is currently headlined by a heavyweight fight between Stefan Struve and Alexander Volkov. The card takes place on September 2nd in Rotterdam, Netherlands and will stream exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
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