In the year 2014 in the UFC, no match-up feels safe until the scheduled fighters come out and touch gloves.
Just ten days before he was to square off with Mauricio Rua in Uberlandia, Brazil, UFC president Dana White announced via his Twitter that Jimi Manuwa was out of his UFC FIght Night 56 bout with Mauricio Rua. Manuwa will be replaced by Ovince St. Preux, who was slated to face Francimar Barraso in the co-main event.
No replacement was immediately named to face Barraso, who was himself a late fill-in for Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante.
"Jimi had broken ribs prior to the [Alexander] Gustafsson fight but did not pull out," Manuwa's manager Lex McMahon told MMA Fighting. "He has never pulled out of a fight. He is a true warrior. But the nature of this injury significantly limited his mobility and put him at a tremendous disadvantage against one of the greatest strikers in MMA history."
The news of the injury follows a trend that the UFC has been dealing with all year long. Most recently, heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez suffered an injury to his knee and was forced out of his main event for the UFC 180 pay-per-view on Nov. 15 in Mexico City. Velasquez was replaced by Mark Hunt, who is now facing Fabricio Werdum for the interim title.
Many other cards have been altered at the eleventh hour this year as well this year, and for a variety of reasons.
When Renan Barao injured himself trying to make weight for his UFC 177 title fight with T.J. Dillashaw, Joe Soto was plucked from the prelims and inserted into the main event on a day's notice. Barao's teammate Jose Aldo injured himself ahead of UFC 176, and the card was scrapped altogether. One of the casualties from that card was Gray Maynard, who was rerouted to UFC Fight Night 47 in Bangor, Maine later in the month. Maynard was supposed to fight Fabricio Camoes, but was then reslotted against Ross Pearson when Pearson's original opponent, Abel Trujillo, suffered an injury.
St. Preux (16-6) is coming off a five-round unanimous decision loss to Ryan Bader in August, while the former light heavyweight champion Rua (22-9) lost via knockout against Dan Henderson in March.
UFC Fight Night 56 will take place at the Ginasio Municipal Tancredo Neves on Nov. 8.