This is the second time the bout has been nixed. Lawler withdrew from their first match-up, which had been scheduled for UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden in November of 2016. This time, however, it is Cerrone that is withdrawing from the fight.
Sources confirmed that Cerrone suffered an injury that keeps him from fighting on July 8. He may be able to make a quick return, though. So there are talks that the bout might get rescheduled as soon as UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif., dependent upon Cerrone’s recovery.
It has been nearly a year since Lawler (27-11, 1NC) set foot in the Octagon. Tyron Woodley took the welterweight title from him in his last fight at UFC 201 on July 30 of last year.
Cerrone (32-8, 1NC) went on to knock out Matt Brown at UFC 206 in December. Nearing a title shot, Cerrone stumbled in his January bout against Jorge Masvidal, losing via TKO stoppage early in the second round at UFC on FOX 23.
The loss of Lawler vs. Cerrone is another significant blow to the fight card that already lost it’s planned headliner between bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and his fellow The Ultimate Fighter coach TJ Dillashaw. and with very little time to find a strong replacement bout.
UFC 213, slated for July 8 in Las Vegas, features Amanda Nunes putting her bantamweight belt on the line against Valentina Shevchenko, as well as an interim middleweight title fight between top contenders Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker.