Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has been forced out of a planned UFC on FOX 19 bout with Rashad Evans. Top 5 ranked contender Glover Teixeira has agreed to take his place.
UFC officials announced on Wednesday that Shogun had to withdraw from the fight due to an undisclosed injury, but Teixeira had already agreed to take his place in the UFC on FOX 19 co-main event.
This marks the second time that the UFC has made this fight. Teixeira and Evans were originally slated to fight each other in early 2015, but the bout was cancelled when Teixeira had to withdraw due to a slow-to-heal knee injury. Teixeira (24-4) returned later in the year to submit Ovince Saint Preux and TKO Patrick Cummins.
Evans (19-4-1), also a former UFC light heavyweight champion, spent all of 2014 on the sidelines struggling with a knee injury of his own after coming off of back-to-back wins over Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen. Although it was Teixeira that initially pulled out of their planned match-up in 2015, Evans ended up undergoing another knee surgery and sat out the better portion of the year before returning in a losing effort against Ryan Bader in October.
A battle between top lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson tops the UFC on FOX 19 fight card, which is slated for April 16 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram