The UFC announced Tuesday night that Evans was denied a license to fight by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) because of a "medical issue." His fight with Tim Kennedy is off and there are "currently no plans" to replace it on the first UFC card in New York City on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, the release said.
Both Evans and Kennedy will get their show bonus, the UFC said.
Evans, a New York native, told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani that an MRI he took had "irregular findings," but he passed follow-up tests the commission asked him to take.
"I'm disappointed," Evans said. "I'm healthy. I don't want anyone worrying about me. I'm fine, physically speaking. Never felt better. It's just the commission and their rules. I guess they have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to this."
Meanwhile, Kennedy, who landed in New York on Tuesday, has called out Anderson Silva, Nick Diaz, Michael Bisping, and Ronaldo Souza on Twitter since he found out he wouldn't be fighting Evans. It seems unlikely that one of those potential bouts would come to fruition at this late date.
This is the UFC's first New York card since the state legalized MMA in April. The NYSAC is currently being sued by the family of a boxer who was left disabled and with a neurological deficit after a 2013 bout.