We all know in the fight game injuries can occur. For some of the UFC’s top athletes they can occur more frequently than others. Here we look at some of the stars who have been plagued by injuries.
1) Dominick Cruz – A truly unfortunate case for Dominick Cruz who has notched up superb wins over Urijah Faber and Demetrious Johnson. The former bantamweight champion was scheduled for a rematch with Faber at UFC 148 however Cruz pulled out after tearing his ACL. On December 3, 2012 it was revealed that Cruz underwent another ACL surgery after his body rejected one from a cadaver, with an expected recovery time of six to nine months. He was expected to return in February 2014 against Renan Bararo but withdrew to a torn groin and vacated his bantamweight belt. After nearly three years away from the sport due to injuries, Cruz returned to the octagon on September 27, 2014 at UFC 178 where he faced Takeya Mizugaki, Cruz won the fight by KO in the first round. However in December 2014 Cruz tore his ACL in his other knee keeping him out for much of 2015. We wish the former champion a speedy recovery as he truly is an exceptional talent.
2) Anthony Pettis – Former UFC lightweight champion and currently #1 ranked in the lightweight division Pettis is arguably one of the most talented fighters in the organisation. However the former champion has accumulated a lot of injuries over the years going back to 2012 after a sensational knockout win over Joe Lauzon at UFC 144 Pettis spent the remainder of the year sidelined with a serious shoulder injury. Pettis next injury came just before a fight with Jose Aldo in August 2013 but he had to withdraw due a serious knee injury. A reoccurrence of Pettis knee injury happened just before a fight with Josh Thompson and he was forced to withdraw. Most recently Pettis was forced to withdraw from a fight with Myles Jury in July of this year due to another undisclosed injury. We all hope the former champion can stay injury free in the future as well all know what special talent he is.
3) Rashad Evans – Winner of The Ulitimate Fighter 2 and former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans injury problems didn’t start to occur until 2011 when he was training to fight Mauricio Rua for the UFC light heavyweight title when he injured his knee in training and was replaced by Jon Jones. Evans was then set to fight Jones at UFC 140 but Evans withdrew with a thumb injury costing him another title shot. Fast forward to February 2014 and a fight with Daniel Cormier was scheduled for UFC 170 however Evans was forced out of the fight with a leg injury. Evans announced in February of this year he would be sidelined for 6 months after undergoing knee surgery. Evans makes his highly anticipated return this October against Ryan Bader at UFC 192. We all hope the former champion can stay injury free and go on a run to another title shot.
4) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – Nogueria’s first battle with injuries came back at UFC 109 when he withdrew from a fight with Brandon Vera due to fractured ankle sustained while training. Nogueira was scheduled to fight Rich Franklin at UFC 133 but pulled out of the fight citing a shoulder injury. On April 14th 2012 a fight between Nogueira and Alexander Gustafsson was expected but Nogueira withdrew a month before the fight with a knee injury. Nogueira was expected to face Mauricio Rua at UFC 161 however he pulled out just days before the event with a back injury. A rescheduled fight with Alexander Gustafsson was arranged on March 8th 2014 however Nogueria pulled out with a reoccurring back injury. A consistent run of fights could see Nogueria climb the ranks of the light heavyweight division.
5) Cain Velasquez – 2 time former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez first major injury in the UFC came when he superbly defeated Brock Lesnar. During the fight Velasquez suffered a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder keeping him sidelined for over 6 months. On April 29th 2014 the UFC announced Velasquez was set to fight Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180 however Velasquez was forced to pull out of the fight due to a torn meniscus and sprained MCL in his right knee. Velasquez is set to fight Fabricio Werdum with a date and venue yet to be announced.
Injuries are expected in the fight business but we would love to see all the above stay injury free as they are all exceptional fighters and bring so much excitement to the sport we all love.
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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