Evans Shelved for UFC 85

Written by Tom Ngo
May 20th, 2008

On Tuesday afternoon, the UFC announced yet another change to their UFC 85 card.  James Irvin, who replaced an injured Chuck Liddell, was forced to pull out of his bout against Rashad Evans due to a broken foot.  Luiz Arthur Cane, who was initially scheduled to face Jason Lambert at UFC 85, was then promoted to fight Evans.  Now, the UFC has decided to scrap Evans from the card altogether and keep the Cane/Lambert match up in tact. What once started out as a blockbuster main event, has now transformed into a circle, or in this case an Octagon, of confusion.

UFC 85 is scheduled to take place on June 7th at the O2 Arena in London, England, although who really knows with the run of luck this card has had.  UFC 85 seems to have been jinxed from the get-go, as multiple fighters have been forced to pull out for various reasons.

Initially, the card was a star-studded promotion which featured former Light Heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell taking on Maricio “Shogun” Rua. Rua was then forced to withdraw due to the lack of progress on his surgically repaired knee. The UFC was able to place up and comer Rashad Evans into Rua’s spot to take on Liddell.

Then, Liddell was also forced to withdraw due to a pulled muscle in his leg and James Irvin stepped in to replace him against Evans. With the event just around the corner, it is possible that the UFC didn’t want to risk one of their top up and comers getting upset, due to the fact that he wouldn’t have enough time to prepare for his new opponent and opted to put Evans on the shelf and saving him for another event. 

Knowing that the card was not as solid as once expected, the UFC scrambled to find replacements, and they managed to put together Matt Hughes vs. Thiago Alves as the main event, pitting the living legend against the up and comer. In addition to that, the UFC was also able to sign popular English fighter Michael Bisping against Chris Leben.  These were two solid last minute replacement fights, however two weeks ago, Leben was then forced to pull out after being arrested for a probation violation. Jason Day has since stepped in to replace him.

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