Injuries in mixed martial arts (MMA) just won't stop, this time claiming one-half of a significant 185-pound bout set for the upcoming New Year's weekend.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Chris Weidman has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 155 match up against Tim Boetsch due to a shoulder injury suffered in training while grappling with light heavyweights Ryan Bader and Gian Villante.
Replacing Weidman will be his Team Serra-Longo teammate, Constantinos Philippou.
Long Island based news outlet Newsday first reported the switch. UFC officials confirmed the news shortly thereafter. Trainer of the 29-year-old, Ray Longo, called Weidman's removal from the card "awful."
Philippou (11-2, 1 NC) was scheduled to fight Nick Ring at UFC 154 this past weekend (Nov. 17, 2012), however Ring fell ill hours before the bout was scheduled to take place and doctors ordered the Canadian be removed from the card. Despite receiving his show money from the organization, Philippou did not get the chance to compete.
Fortunately, Weidman's untimely injury gives Philippou the chance to get right back in the cage, and against a top-10 opponent at that.
Boetsch (16-4) is undefeated at 4-0 since dropping to the middleweight division from light heavyweight in mid-2011. "The Barbarian" has looked like a brand new fighter at 185 pounds and has showed he is capable of defeating the best in the world at middleweight after back-to-back wins over Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard.
Weidman (9-0) continues to have encounters with bad luck after having his house and neighborhood destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in late October. Even with his house and life in shambles, Weidman planned to compete at UFC 155 but with this most recent injury, it was clearly too much to overcome.
"All-American" is 5-0 under the UFC banner including two submissions and one knockout.
UFC 155: ‘Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II' goes down Dec. 29, 2012 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is headlined by a heavyweight championship rematch between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez.