Casey O’Neill will likely miss the rest of 2022.
The top flyweight prospect announced Thursday that she has been forced to withdraw from her scheduled UFC 276 fight against Jessica Eye after suffering a torn ACL in training.
“I’ve spent the past 7 days trying to continue on but it’s just not possible on a fully torn ACL,” O’Neill wrote on Instagram. “I will have surgery, recover and be back better than ever before you know it.”
The news represents a tough turn of events for O’Neill (9-0), who captured MMA Fighting’s inaugural Rookie of the Year award for her 3-0 start to her UFC career in 2021. “King” followed that up by defeating Roxanne Modafferi via split decision in February at UFC 271, a bout that also served as Modafferi’s retirement fight. The 24-year-old O’Neill is currently the No. 11 ranked flyweight talent in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings.
UFC 276 takes place July 2 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event is expected to headline the UFC’s annual International Fight Week festivities.
O’Neill’s full statement can be read below.
“Unfortunately I have to announce that I need to withdraw from my upcoming fight on July 2 due to snapping my ACL last week in training.
“I’ve spent the past 7 days trying to continue on but it’s just not possible on a fully torn ACL. I will have surgery, recover and be back better than ever before you know it.
“I’m so sad that I don’t get to perform for you guys, I’m so sad that I don’t get to fight but I am excited to get healthy and rebuild. Thank you to the @ufc @danawhite @mickmaynard2 @heatherlinden @drtera @ufcpi for always taking care of me
“I am 24 years old and young in this game. I promise you I will be back better than before and the King is still coming for her crown. Love you guys, thank you for the support”