UFC 170 is set to take place on February 22nd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the night’s festivities being headlined by a women’s bantamweight title fight, that pits champion Ronda Rousey against number four ranked contender Sara McMann.
Sitting in the co-main slot is, or rather was, an important light-heavyweight bout between Rashad Evans and Daniel Cormier, with the fight marking Cormier’s first match and appearance in the 205 pound division.
However and as fans are finding out tonight, Rashad Evans will be a scratch for the 170 card.
As made official by the UFC this evening, ‘Suga’ has injured his knee and will apparently require four weeks of rehabilitation. As such, his fight with Cormier is to be re-booked for a later date.
The UFC’s release reads as follows:
"A leg injury has forced former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans out of his UFC 170 co-main event bout with Daniel Cormier on February 22 in Las Vegas. With the event date rapidly approaching, there will be no replacement fight, and the card -- headlined by the UFC women's bantamweight championship match between Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann -- will continue with 10 bouts."
As Evans vs. Cormier is now a scratch, it means that the Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia fight will be now be elevated to the co-main slot.
The upside of this unfortunate news is that Evans hasn’t sustained a significant injury. Resultantly, it means the fight won’t be postponed indefinitely and could go off as early as April. If this is the case, then the logical choice of cards to re-book Evans / Cormier for would be the UFC Fight Night 39 card on April 11th in Abu Dhabi.
As it stands now, the card is headlined by a match between Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and has no other fights assigned to it. As there’s not a great deal of fan excitement regarding the Nelson / Nogueira fight, the addition of Evans / Cormier to the event would help bolster a sort that doesn’t have a great top-of-the-card fight.
If not the UFN 39 card, the brand could well place Evans / Cormier on the May 24th UFC 173 card in Las Vegas. The card is currently headlined by the Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort fight, as well as having the Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva fight, but other than that there are no other fights currently assigned to the card.
As a final note and as per usual, Chael Sonnen offered to step in on short notice and fight Cormier, in Evan’s place. However and as he’s already booked to fight Silva on May 24th he’s not apt to be given the fight. That said, Sonnen once again proves he’s a trooper.
.@dc_mma ya know I haven't been crazy about you attitude as of late. Daddy ain't ready, but he's ready enough. Feb 22 just say my name...— chael sonnen (@sonnench) February 13, 2014