UFC 206 has suffered a major setback with a rescheduled fight between Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy being axed.
Kennedy, who was disappointed to not fight at UFC 205, broke the news on Ariel Helwani’s “The MMA Hour”. When asked by Helwani why the fight was cancelled, Kennedy stated that Evans had been declined a licence to fight in Ontario.
This is a surprise for many people within the sport, with some stating that New York taking precautions in their first UFC event was the reason for the initial declining of a licence.
Ali Abdel-Aziz (Evans’ manager), who was originally on the show to discuss Khabib Nurmagomedov, updated Helwani on the bombshell. Abdel-Aziz spoke to reassure fans that this is a case of Ontario’s tough regulations as a commission rather than an actual cause for concern.
“He’s fine, guys,” Abdel-Aziz said. “Rashad is fine. There’s nothing wrong with him.”
This is a frustrating time for Evans who was looking to achieve his old form at a new weight class after losses to Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira.
Evans himself told MMA Fighting “I’m disappointed” after not gaining a licence for UFC 205.
He continued “I’m healthy. I don’t want anyone worrying about me. I’m fine, physically speaking. Never felt better. It’s just the commission and their rules. I guess they have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to this.”
Kennedy meanwhile has stated that he plans to continue preparing for UFC 206 and hopes to have a new opponent announced for the event. The implication for Kennedy is time, considering his last bout was a loss to number one middleweight contender, Yoel Romero back in September 2014 at UFC 178.
Tim will feel confident however that a solid win against a similarly ranked middleweight will increase his worth in the division. Kennedy is currently ranked 12th in the middleweight division and is not short on confidence, recently calling out Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Nick Diaz, Anderson Silva and current 185lb champ, Michael Bisping.
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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