Luke Rockhold needs an opponent for UFC 199, but Ronaldo Souza is not an option anymore.
"Jacare", who defeated Vitor Belfort via first-round TKO at last Saturday’s UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, won’t be able to face the middleweight champion on June 4, sources close to the situation told MMA Fighting.
According to UFC president Dana White on SportsCenter on Wednesday, Souza was the top choice to replace Weidman. However, Souza hurt the meniscus in his knee against Belfort and will need surgery.
Rodkhold was scheduled to defend his title in a rematch with Chris Weidman, but the former champion was forced out of the card with an injury.
"Jacare" (23-4, 1 NC) bounced back from a controversial loss to Yoel Romero with a dominant victory over Belfort, improving to 9-1 since losing a close decision to Rockhold in Strikeforce, earning eight of those nine victories by knockout or submission.
UFC 199 takes place at the The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and also features Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber for the bantamweight championship.