A co-main event clash between former UFC middleweight champions Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman is off the table for UFC 230.
According to a report by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto (shown below), Rockhold has been forced to withdraw from next months pay-per-view (PPV) card in New York City due to injury. The UFC is currently working to shuffle bouts around as Rockhold’s rematch with Weidman was a focal point of the card.
Per sources, Luke Rockhold is out of his middleweight fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 230. UFC already working on shuffling things around. This is the co-main event currently.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 19, 2018
This is more bad news for a UFC 230 card which lost its original co-main event between Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier earlier month after “Diamond” pulled out with a nagging hip injury.
Per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the promotion is hoping to keep Weidman on the card. The former UFC middleweight champion and New York native is a big selling point for the Madison Square Garden event. A possible replacement for Rockhold is Brazilian veteran Jacare Souza, who is currently scheduled to fight David Branch at UFC 230.
Luke Rockhold is out of UFC 230 versus Chris Weidman due to leg injuries. First reported by my colleague @bokamotoESPN.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 19, 2018
Plan is to keep Weidman on the card. One name that is being discussed, per sources, is Jacare Souza, who was scheduled to fight David Branch on the same card.
Just spoke to a disappointed Luke Rockhold. He’s dealing with a litany of injuries:— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 19, 2018
*His left shin is infected again. He just got a stem cell graft put in.
*He sprained his right knee yesterday. MRI is scheduled for tonight.
*He broke his nose recently while grappling.
Rockhold said he tried everything in his power to make it to MSG but, “I need at least one weapon to make it the party.” He’s hoping the recovery will be 4 weeks and he’ll be able to return in late 2018/early 2019.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 19, 2018
If UFC is in fact targeting a new bout between Weidman and Souza, it seems like Branch will be hung out to dry. It’s a cruel reality, but ultimately the name of the game when a slew of injuries riddle what was supposed to be one of the biggest cards of 2018.
UFC 230 will take place on Nov. 3 and feature a heavyweight title fight between current champion Daniel Cormier and streaking knockout artist Derrick Lewis.
For complete UFC 230 fight card news click here.