(“For those that think it’s that easy to matchmake.” via the Jackson-Wink Twitter)
With the UFC set to hold two of the most stacked cards in promotional history in the coming weeks – UFC 198 and UFC 200 — there’s been an overwhelming feeling that shit was all but destined to hit the fan in one capacity or another. “Conor McGregor suffers another ACL tear.” “Nate Diaz shot backstage at Snoop Dogg concert.” “Fabricio Werdum retires amidst actual prostitution scandal.” These were all headlines that we could have seen coming over the weekend, because this sport is nothing if not an unpredictable circus.
What you might not expect, however, is that the bad luck that always finds its way to MMA would trickle down to an unrelated fight card, like say, UFC 197. Which, with the MMA Gods being the vengeful, sadistic asshole that they are, is of course what happened.
The announcement of Cormier’s withdrawal was made late Friday night. In an interview with MMAFighting published this morning, the light heavyweight champ elaborated on what exactly led him to withdraw from the fight.
“I was in practice sparring and I kicked one of my partners [with an] inside low kick and he checked it. And I fell down, and I was ‘ahh, that was painful,’ and [trainer] Bob Cook was laughing. We get kick checked all the time. Sometimes you bruise your shin, and in a couple days it passes.”
“I get up to try to spar again, and another guy did a little front kick to my shin,” Cormier continued. “And when he did it I fell to the ground again, and I said, okay, this hurts a little bit more than normal, so I’m going to probably stop sparring. So I stopped sparring.”
After undergoing a series of MRI’s, Cormier was diagnosed with a torn leg ligament and given a 4-6 week recovery time.
Not wanting to lose yet another main event to injury, the UFC quickly booked the only available top 10 light heavyweight, Ovince St. Preux, to step in on just a few weeks’ notice.
Currently 3-1 in his past 4 with high-profile wins over Rafael Cavalcante and Mauricio Rua, OSP is relishing the opportunity, telling MMAJunkie that “He’s a beast, and I’m a beast, too. We both can do some beast (expletive).”
Well said, OSP.