Tonya Evinger needs a new opponent for UFC Sao Paulo after Ketlen Vieira was pulled from the card with a knee injury that requires surgery, but Bethe Correia is not an option.
The one-time UFC bantamweight title contender, who hasn’t fought since a third-round defeat to Holly Holm in June 2016, told MMA Fighting on Wednesday she declined to face Evinger in at the Sept. 22 event in Brazil.
“I received an offer from the UFC,” Correia said. “But I have a surgery scheduled for next week to fix a little eye problem so I don’t have problems with doctors again for my next fight.”
Correia (10-3-1) had eye surgery after her loss to Holm, and was scheduled to face Irene Aldana earlier this month at UFC 227. However, the UFC didn’t clear the Brazilian to fight just days before the event in Los Angeles.
The 35-year-old Brazilian will have eye surgery for a third time next week, “but the time off is shorter this time,” she said, “so I can come back to training and fight this year.”
Evinger (19-7, 1 no-contest) is still waiting for an opponent for her next bout. The former Invicta FC bantamweight champion only fought once in the UFC, losing to Cris Cyborg at featherweight. Prior to that bout, Evinger went undefeated for six years in official fights.