It hasn’t even been 48 hours since the UFC announced Vitor Belfort vs. Yushin Okami would decide who gets the next middleweight title shot at UFC 122 before news hit that Belfort has suffered another injury and won’t be able to fight. Taking his place in the UFC 122 main event will be Nate Marquardt according to MMA Weekly.
An injury has forced Vitor Belfort out of his UFC 122 main event fight against Yushin Okami in Germany. In to replace Belfort will be Nate Marquardt, who just picked up a TKO win over Rousimar Palhares at UFC Fight Night 22.
Marquardt’s placement in the fight was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the bout, who stated the fight has been signed for the new main event at UFC 122.
It’s unknown what kind of injury forced Belfort off the card, but hopefully it’s nothing too serious. He hasn’t fought since he knocked out Rich Franklin exactly one year ago at UFC 103.
It’s also unknown if Nate Marquardt could earn himself a title shot with a win, but considering the predicament Chael Sonnen is in and Belfort’s injury problems, there’s probably a pretty good chance he could.
Image via Sherdog
Update: So apparently, Vitor Belfort is not injured as MMA Weekly initially reported. Vitor’s coach Shawn Tompkins wrote on Facebook that “Vitor is 100% healthy” and Dana White just confirmed Vitor’s health on Twitter. Tompkins added that he’ll have Vitor news soon and it doesn’t sound like it’s to remain the UFC 122 headliner. Of course if he isn’t fighting at UFC 122, then when is he fighting and why was he pulled from UFC 122? No one knows at the moment, but many are beginning to speculate that the UFC pulled him to book Silva vs. Belfort early next year since Chael Sonnen will probably still be under suspension. That’s definitely possible, but I find it odd that the UFC would announce Belfort vs. Okami for a middleweight title shot, fully aware of the Sonnen situation, then pull it less than 48 hours later and hand Vitor the title shot. We shall see.
Update 2: That didn’t take long. Here’s the official word from Dana White.
Vitor is not injured. He is going to fight anderson for the title and the winner of marquart and okami are next.
MMA Fighting’s Mike Chiappetta is hearing UFC 125 on Jan. 1 is a “safe bet” for Silva-Belfort, but nothing is set in stone yet.