UFC 128: Jon Jones vs Mauricio Rua title fight set for March 19 with Rashad Evans hurt

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If former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans wants to be a part of the UFC 128 main event on March 19 in New Jersey, he'll need to buy himself a ticket.

That's because "Suga" suffered a knee injury in training camp, forcing him to hand over his 205-pound title shot against Mauricio Rua in "The Garden State" to friend and training partner Jon Jones.

"Bones" earned the short-notice title fight with a bona fide ass kicking of Ryan Bader at UFC 126 on Feb. 5.

Rua, who's been out with a knee injury of his own since definitively taking the belt from Lyoto Machida at UFC 113 back in May 2010, was called into the Octagon shortly after Jones' win at the "Silva vs. Belfort" pay-per-view to congratulate his new opponent and accept the challenge.

Let the hype begin.

Evans will not require surgery but could face up to eight weeks of physical rehabilitation.

After coughing up his belt to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 back in May 2009, Evans rebounded from the only loss of his career by taking back-to-back decision wins over Thiago Silva and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2 champion was offered the opportunity to compete after "Shogun" opted to have knee surgery but "Suga" didn't want to pass up his sweet spot in the divisional rankings, waiting out the recovering Brazilian and preserving his number one contender status.

That decision, which UFC President Dana White referred to as "insane," may have ended up costing him that title shot regardless pending the outcome of UFC 128 in March.

Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more updates to this story as they develop.

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