A reported injury to Luke Rockhold has forced him out of UFC 230.
The former UFC middleweight champion was scheduled for a rematch with the man he defeated for the title, Chris Weidman, in the co-feature bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov. 3. But he’s out due to multiple injuries.
MMA Fighting confirmed an initial Friday report by ESPN. Additionally, MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz has learned the UFC has offered the bout to former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza. The fighter nicknamed “Jacare,” who is scheduled to fight former WSOF dual titleholder David Branch on the MSG card, is said to be considering the offer.
Rockhold (16-4), who is also a former Strikeforce middleweight titleholder, defeated Weidman at UFC 194 via fourth-round TKO to claim the championship. Since then, he’s 1-2, including knockout losses to Michael Bisping and Yoel Romero.
For Weidman (14-3), the loss kicked off a three-fight losing streak. But he got right back into the thick of things at 185 pounds in July 2017 with a submission win over Kelvin Gastelum, the fighter expected to get the next shot at current champion Robert Whittaker.
The fight fallout marks as many co-main event dropouts in as many weeks for the New York City event. Dustin Poirier had to pull out of a highly anticipated fight with Nate Diaz last week due to a hip injury.
As of late Friday, the UFC was attempting to find a replacement fight which would enable Weidman to stay on the card.
Weidman, who lives up the way in Long Island, is making it clear he wants to stay a part of the Nov. 3 event.
I am focused on this fight. I’ll be at MSG on Nov 3. Doesn’t matter who they put in front of me. I’m getting my belt back. My management and ufc will figure the rest out.— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) October 19, 2018