Glover Texeira Pulls Out of UFC FN 61 With Injury
One week into the new year and the injury bug strikes again in the UFC.
The UFC announced on Wednesday that Glover Texeira will no longer be fighting in the main event of UFC Fight Night 61 on February 22nd, 2015 at the Gigantinho Gymnasium in Porto de Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
According to UFC President Dana White, Texeira’s recurring knee problems will need at least six weeks of physical therapy before the Brazilian slugger is deemed fit to compete again. Texeira tweaked his knee during his October fight against Phil Davis, causing the injury.
An Unlikely Main Event
Texeira was slated to fight former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad “Sugar” Evans at the main event of UFC Fight Night 61. However, because of Texeira’s injury, that bout has been scrapped and has been replaced with the Antonio Silva-Frank Mir contest which was previously scheduled for UFC 184 on February 28th in Los Angeles. The new five round heavyweight main event becomes the first headliner to feature two combatants who have zero wins in their last three fights. Silva and Mir are a combined 1-6-1 in their last four fights. But with time running out and matches already made, the UFC has once again been forced to scramble to find a bout that is still worthy of main event status.
Injury Bug Back From Holidays
This is already the second time this year that a fighter has been replaced in a main event or co-main event bout. Last week, former Strikeforce lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez pulled out of his UFC Fight Night 59 main event fight with former UFC lightweight king Benson Henderson for personal reasons. Fortunately for the Boston event, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone saved the bout and willingly stepped in to replace Alvarez and face Benson Henderson despite fighting just last weekend at UFC 182 last January 3rd in Las Vegas, Nevada. Last year, the UFC also faced numerous injuries which forced replacement and even cancellation of bouts.
Disappointing for Evans
But more disappointed than Texeira should be his opponent Rashad Evans who was eyeing his first bout since beating Chael Sonnen at UFC 167 in November 2013. Evans suffered an ACL injury which forced him to take the entire 2014 off. The UFC has not finalized its new plans for Evans who is ready to fight again and who could be booked to fight on another fight card.
Texeira meanwhile has said that he is targeting an April 2015 return and hopes that the UFC will save Evans for his return. Texeira is ranked #6 by the UFC despite losing his last two fights to Jon Jones and Phil Davis in 2014. On the other hand, Evans is ranked #4 after back to back wins over Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen in 2013.
The winner was likely one fight away from a title fight since the other top two fighters in the lightweight division(Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson) will square off on January 24 for the next immediate title shot. Instead, Evans will go back to the sidelines and wait much longer.
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