By Eric Hobaugh
Rumors are running wild today as to who will replace Phil Davis at UFC against Rashad Evans. Many names are flying around with Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz being the mist prominent. The Machida vs. Evans would be an excellent rematch. Ortiz finally one a fight so that is a less exciting replacement as well. I am hoping for the Machida fight myself.
Rashad Evans (15-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC) is waiting once again.
Injury has forced Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) to withdraw from a planned UFC 133 matchup with former champ Evans, who now waits on a new opponent.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Tuesday confirmed the unfortunate turn of events that was first reported by MMA Fighting .
Evans was initially expected to face current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 133, which takes place Aug. 6 at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.
Evans had been in line to fight then-champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 before a knee injury forced “Suga” off the card. As Rua healed from his own knee injury, Evans sat out nearly a year waiting for the title shot rather than taking a non-championship bout and risking his shot at the belt. But when he lost the slot due to injury, UFC officials gave it to Jones following his early-February victory over fellow top prospect Ryan Bader at UFC 126.
Jones won the title from Rua in dominant fashion at UFC 128, which set up a meeting with Evans, a former training partner with whom he’s now had a very public fallout.
But rather than Jones, a “Bones” injury set up a fight with Davis, a former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion. Davis is 9-0 in his pro career, and the past five fights have come in the UFC. With victories over Brian Stann, Alexander Gustafsson, Rodney Wallace and Tim Boetsch, he began drawing comparisons to Jones.
UFC 132 winner Tito Ortiz was offered an opportunity to fill in against Evans, but he declined the chance. The former UFC champ took to his Twitter account to explain his reasoning.
“I have a life and things to take care of,” Ortiz stated. “The fight game is about making the right choices of my career. If you knew what I have been going through you all would understand.
“Peaking for a fight is what makes a fighter unstoppable. Timing is everything in life. This is a rebuild year for me not do or die. The time will come again.”
Lyoto Machida has also been rumored as a potential replacement for Davis, but the Brazilian’s management was unavailable for comment on Tuesday night.