And here we thought all week that Jon Jones would be the reason the light heavyweight title tilt with champion Daniel Cormier (pictured) at UFC 197 would be canceled.
According to BJPenn.com, and subsequently multiple other MMA outlets, a leg injury has forced Cormier out of the April 23 rematch. UFC officials have yet to address Cormier’s status.
Jones was arrested Tuesday for probation violation after receiving five traffic tickets last week, one of which was drag racing that he admitted to in court Thursday in order to get released from jail.
Jones solidified his spot as the most decorated light heavyweight champion in UFC history after annihilating Cormier 15 months ago to notch is eighth consecutive title defense. However, Jones was temporarily suspend by the UFC and stripped of his hardware following April’s felony hit-and-run arrest where a pregnant motorist suffered a broken arm.
Cormier went on to submit Anthony Johnson to capture the vacant belt one month later. He then defended the throne with a split decision victory over Alexander Gustafsson in October.
Jones was reinstated in September after copping a plea the month prior to receive 18 months probation.
No word on how long Cormier will be forced to ride the pine. If the injury isn’t too severe, Jones will likely wait until his archenemy returns in order to try and reclaim his throne.
Flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson is slated to defend his throne against Henry Cejudo in UFC 197’s co-main event. If the UFC is unable to secure a bigger fight, then it stands to reason the 125-pound affair will get bumped to the show’s featured attraction.
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada hosts the festivities.
Here is the card’s current lineup:
(UFC Fight Pass, 6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee
Clint Hester vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
(Fox Sports 1 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Glaico Franca vs. James Vick
Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele
Carla Esparza vs. Juliana Lima
Chris Kelades vs. Sergio Pettis
(Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)
Andre Fili vs. Yair Rodriguez
Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker
Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Pettis
Henry Cejudo vs. Demetrious Johnson (UFC flyweight champion)