Less than two weeks out from fight night, UFC 170 has lost its co-main event.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans has been forced to withdraw from his pivotal divisional clash against Daniel Cormier due to injury, UFC officials announced Wednesday. Yahoo Sports first reported the news.
Due to the short notice nature of the injury, a replacement opponent was unable to located for Cormier (13-0), and thus the former Olympian has also been removed from the card.
Evans participated in Wednesday's pre-fight media conference call and was interviewed on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight, although at the time the fighter was still "waiting for results" regarding his fate, UFC President Dana White told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani.
According to White, Evans (21-3-1) suffered a knee injury, and as of this writing, the fight against Cormier is intended to be rebooked at a later date. Evans is expected to require four week of rehabilitation, according to the Yahoo Sports' initial report.
The bout was intended to serve as Cormier's welcome to the light heavyweight division, as the former top-3 heavyweight dropped weight classes following a win at UFC 166 in order to avoid a bout against friend and training partner Cain Velasquez.
In Evans and Cormier's stead, a welterweight contest between Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia is expected to be promoted to the co-main event of UFC 170, which takes place February 22, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.
Still, just in case UFC officials are looking for a big-name replacement to keep Cormier on the card, one familiar face wasted little time throwing caution to the wind.
"Ya know I haven't been crazy about your attitude as of late," Chael Sonnen wrote in a tweet directed at Cormier. "Daddy ain't ready, but he's ready enough. Feb 22 just say my name."
Main Card (Pay-Per-View)
Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann
Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia
Mike Pyle vs. T.J. Waldburger
Stephen Thompson vs. Robert Whittaker
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 1)
Alexis Davis vs. Jessica Eye
Raphael Assuncao vs. Pedro Munhoz
Cody Gibson vs. Aljamain Sterling
Zach Makovsky vs. Josh Sampo
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Erik Koch vs. Rafaello Oliveira
Ernest Chavez vs. Yosdenis Cedeno