UFC 200, which occured in July of this year, was supposed to be a great card. Unfortunately, its lineup was torn asunder by injuries and PED busts, until it stood out as more of good card.
We’ve been much more lucky in the case of UFC 205, the mammoth card that marks the UFC’s debut in New York City. Though the card was hit by one shakeup when Lyman Good was forced out of his planned bout with Belal Muhammad due a potential USADA violation, the card has otherwise gone unscathed.
Not long ago, rumors began to swirl that former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans had been forced out of his planned undercard bout with former Strikeforce standout Tim Kennedy. According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Dana White confirmed the news, citing an issue with Evan’s medicals.
With Dana White right now, tells me Evans/Kennedy is off due to an issue with Evans's medicals. More info to come.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 8, 2016
Given that this bout was intended to mark Evans’ debut in the middleweight division, this news caused immediate speculation that there had been an issue with his weight cut. According to additional reports, however, this may not be the case.
Rumor is Rashad Evans is in danger of being pulled from #UFC205. My understanding is there are no weight issues. Possible nagging injury.
— #Dizz © (@TalkMMA) November 8, 2016
If this fight is indeed cancelled, it’s bound to hit Kennedy pretty hard. The middleweight veteran was vocal in his hope that a win over Evans would propel him into a rematch with current middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who he defeated back in 2014.
Whether this bout actually had the potential to earn Kennedy a title shot or not, it did represent his opportunity to rebound from a controversial knockout loss to Yoel Romero. This loss, which marked Kennedy’s most recent steps into the cage, occurred more than two years ago.
Evans, meanwhile, was evidently hoping to revivify his career with a successful drop to middleweight. This planned drop was proceeded by a tough stretch at light heavyweight, which saw him give up a decision to Ryan Bader before being knocked senseless by Glover Teixeira earlier this year.
Hopefully, this is the last bit of bad news surrounding UFC 205. Knock on wood. How do you feel about the cancellation of this bout? Sound off, PENN Nation!