Brandon Thatch has not stepped into the Octagon since November 2013. Now, he's going to have to wait even longer as his badly broken toe heals.
On Saturday, Rukus revealed via Twitter that he had sustained a gruesome compound fracture and has been removed from his scheduled contest with Jordan Mein. (Note: Click on the image below to view the graphic trauma.)
A timetable for Thatch's return has obviously not been revealed at this point, but the severity of the injury would appear likely to keep him out of action for at least a couple more months. With a 2-0 UFC record, Thatch is a very talented up-and-comer in the welterweight division. However, at 29 years old, he's in his prime and will now likely lose more than one year of competition due to injury problems.
The previously booked bout between Thatch and Mein was supposed to launch the winner into 170-pound title contention. Now, both fighters will likely have to wait to break through to the next level.
Mein could still compete at UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs. Dos Anjos, which will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 23. However, with only three weeks for a replacement opponent to be secured, Mein probably isn't going to meet an adversary who could push him into the Top 15 rankings.
With knockout wins over Justin Edwards and Paulo Thiago within three months, Thatch had a ton of momentum going to close 2013. Now, the talented welterweight, who has huge potential, will have to work to start a whole new push when he finally gets and stays healthy.
Thatch is an incredibly entertaining fighter to watch and was gaining a strong fan following, so here's hoping he heals up quickly and shakes the injury bug moving forward.