MacDonald vs. Lombard had been scheduled as the UFC 186 co-main event to the headlining bantamweight championship bout between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao. On Tuesday, however, UFC officials announced that a flyweight title bout between Demetrious Johnson and Kyoji Horiguchi would take the main support slot, while MacDonald vs. Lombard was being pulled from the card.
“The previously scheduled bout between welterweights Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard has been removed from the card and updates for both fighters will be provided when available,” said the UFC in a statement released to MMAWeekly.com.
The wording “updates for both fighters” is curious, leading to speculation that the bout is not simply being moved to another fight card, but perhaps being split up with both fighters rebooked in separate bouts.
This is purely speculation, however, as the bout would be a high profile enough fight to headline a UFC Fight Night event, and it is unclear whom each fighter would be matched against if put in separate bouts.
It also could be that one of the fighters suffered an injury, although Lombard, in an instagram post on Tuesday, seemed just as surprised as everyone else that his bout was off of the UFC 186 fight card.
“I woke up this morning and I got a text from Ariel Helwani that he was sorry for my fight been cancel! I don’t have a clue at this point, but I trust the UFC made a decision for a good reason!”
A request to UFC officials for further clarification on the bout’s removal from the fight card went unanswered at the time of publication.