UFC 206 has been dealt a deadly, perhaps fatal, blow. Headliner and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier is injured and has been pulled from the card, as reported by MMA Fighting. Cormier was slated to defend his title against #1 contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson at the event, set to take place in Toronto on Dec 10th.
There are several interesting layers to this story. The first is that this is yet another American Kickboxing Academy fighter to get injured in training, the most recent being Luke Rockhold who was supposed to fight tomorrow in Australia (Cain Velasquez and Khabib Nurmagomedov being two other prominent team members who are perennially hurt). Secondly, the original plan for UFC 206 was for Georges St-Pierre to make his long-anticipated return to the sport that night, which would make the loss of Cormier more manageable. There’s no chance of getting GSP on the card at this late hour, especially since the negotiations between the two parties apparently hasn’t been going well. And lastly, can the UFC find a suitable replacement to fight a monster like Rumble (which is the current plan – they want to keep him on the card) on two week’s notice, considering Rumble has pretty much cleared out the division already with the exception of the champion Cormier. If a replacement isn’t found, you can’t really have Max Holloway vs Anthony Pettis as a pay-per-view headliner, can you?