UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping is injured and out of his upcoming UFC Fight Night 30 bout with Mark Munoz. However, former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida has already agreed to take his place.
UFC officials announced the injury and change of opponent on Friday.
Although UFC officials did not divulge details of Bisping’s injury, UFC Tonight later reported that it was an eye injury that forced him out of the fight. It is certainly a disappointing turn of circumstances for “The Count,” who fights out of Manchester, England, where UFC Fight Night 30 is slated to take place at the Phones 4u Arena on Oct. 26.
After Vitor Belfort knocked him out of the title picture in January, Bisping bounced back with a victory over Alan Belcher. Following that up with a win over Munoz would have planted him firmly in the title shot conversation.
Instead, Machida will get an opportunity to make an immediate splash in what will be his first fight in the middleweight division.
He had been slated to make his 185-pound debut against Tim Kennedy in the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 main event on Nov. 6 in Fort Campbell, Ky. Machida will instead be making the trip to the U.K. to fight for just the second time in his career.
For Munoz, it is a drastic change of opposition, as Machida brings a much more elusive style to the cage than Bisping. Plus, he only has four weeks to shift gears.
Kennedy is expected to remain on the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 fight card with UFC officials planning to announce a new opponent in the coming days.