It’s a tough day for popular former UFC champions.
Dominick Cruz is out of his UFC 219 fight with Jimmie Rivera due to a broken arm, multiple sources told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani on Wednesday. It remains immediately unclear if the UFC will keep Rivera on the Dec. 30 card in Las Vegas.
The bout might have decided the first title challenger for T.J. Dillashaw, who beat Cody Garbrandt to win the UFC bantamweight title last Saturday at UFC 217 in New York.
Cruz, the longtime 135-pound champion, re-gained the title from Dillashaw in January 2016 before dropping it to Garbrandt last December. Cruz, 32, has not fought since falling to Garbrandt at UFC 207.
Rivera, 28, is on a gigantic roll, having won his last 20 fights, including his first five in the UFC. The New Jersey native has not lost since 2008, his second career pro bout.
Bantamweight contender John Lineker told MMA Fighting on Wednesday that he would be interested in replacing Cruz and facing Rivera on the UFC’s annual year-end show.
Earlier Wednesday, Combate of Brazil reported and MMA Fighting confirmed that Frankie Edgar was out of his UFC featherweight title challenge against champion Max Holloway at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 in Detroit.