The injury bug, although not as prevalent as last year, has ripped another fighter out of another high-profile bout. UFC Middleweight Costa Philippou was pulled from his UFC on FX 8 co-main event bout with Jacare Souza due to a cut suffered in training.
Philippou was on a roll with six consecutive wins, and was set to face some of his toughest competition ever in welcoming the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion and BJJ wizard to the Octagon. Now, a suitable replacement is being looked for on very short time for the May 18th card from Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Some very unfortunate news for Brazilian MMA fans, who were no doubt looking forward to seeing this fight. The event is headlined by the pivotal middleweight bout between longtime UFC stalwart Vitor Belfort and the debuting Luke Rockhold, who took the Strikeforce belt from Souza.
This is the second cut suffered in training that has recently pulled a high-level fighter from a big bout, as Alexander Gustafsson notoriously suffered the same unfortunate fate prior to UFC Sweden. Questions have to be asked and answered about just how intense training practices should be so close to a bout. In any case, a search for a suitable replacement now rages on. Is there anyone willing to fight Jacare on such a short notice?
*Update* It appears that Chris Camozzi will step up to the plate and face Jacare, as UFC Brasil recently confirmed over Twitter:
So Chris Camozzi, who was never even originally scheduled on the card, will now face Jacare De Souza. Camozzi was originally drafted in to replace CB Dolloway against Cezar Ferreira, until Ferreira was injured and replaced by Rafael Natal and then Camozzi got the call to face De Souza. As you can see from the above Tweet Natal will now face Joao Zeferino.