The MMA Gods have taken another one.
The rematch between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson scheduled for the main event of UFC 206 on December 10th is off, as the UFC light-heavyweight champion has sustained an injury ruling him out of the fight, as confirmed by MMAFighting.com:
Light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has been forced to withdraw from his Dec. 10 title fight against Anthony Johnson due to an injury, MMA Fighting has confirmed with multiple sources. The promotion is currently working on a new headliner, however, nothing is finalized just yet. The hope, as of right now, is to keep Johnson on the card.
This is the second fight for 206 to be scrapped within a week after Tim Kennedy confirmed that he was seeking a new opponent due to the unavailability of Rashad Evans, and it really does leave the Toronto card looking very thin.
But more concerning is the fact that Cormier's withdrawal from the main-event makes it the 33rd main or co-main that needed to be changed so far in 2016, from 40 events, as pointed out by USA today's Mike Bohn:
Daniel Cormier's withdrawal from the #UFC206 headliner marks the 33rd main or co-main event change to the UFC calendar so far in 2016.
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) November 25, 2016
Whether you look at it like 33 out of 40 events needing a change to one of their main selling points, or 33 out of 80 possible main or co-main events needing to be altered, it's still an alarmingly high figure.
The nature of this injury to Cormier is not yet known, but both the champ and 'Rumble' Johnson have been in touch on Twitter to show a bit of respect for their opponent after the news neither of them wanted to see.
I wish nothing but the best for DC and I hope you have a full recovery champ...
— Anthony Johnson (@Anthony_Rumble) November 25, 2016
@Anthony_Rumble I left a message for you on ur phone. I apologize. We Will get to rock and roll bruh. Once again my apologies. DC
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) November 25, 2016
Questions will inevitably be asked about Cormier's training regime as AKA have a less than stellar track record when it comes to injury withdrawals, but all we know for sure is that UFC 206 needs a new main event, and fast.