UFC Fight Night 30 has a new look to its headlining bout, as Michael Bisping (24-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) has been forced to withdraw from a planned matchup with Mark Munoz (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC).
An eye injury forced Bisping’s removal from the card, and Lyoto Machida (19-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) has stepped in to take his place in the main event of UFC Fight Night 30, which takes place on Oct. 26 at Phones 4u Arena (previously known as Manchester Arena) in Manchester, England. The evening’s main card airs in the U.S. on FOX Sports 2 following prelims on Facebook.
ESPN first reported the switch, and MMAjunkie.com subsequently confirmed it with company officials.
Machida had been expected to face Tim Kennedy (16-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in the main event of November’s “UFC Fight Night 31: UFC Fight for the Troops 3? card. Kennedy will now wait on a new opponent.
Bisping was recently on the cusp of a long-awaited title shot before a January loss to Vitor Belfort ruined his chances. However, the English fighter recently rebounded with a technical decision win over Alan Belcher. With two wins his past three fights and a 6-2 mark since early 2010, “The Ultimate Fighter 3? winner remains a top contender at 185 pounds.
Machida, who makes his middleweight debut, is coming off a controversial split-decision loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163. The loss dropped him to 3-3 since losing his 205-pound title to Mauricio Rua at UFC 113 more than three years ago. After losing the belt, Machida lost to Quinton Jackson, then beat Randy Couture to get another shot at the title – but was submitted by champ Jon Jones at UFC 140.
Meanwhile, Munoz returns after earning a lopsided decision win over Tim Boetsch at UFC 162. It was Munoz’s first fight in a year after battling through both injury and depression following a loss to Chris Weidman in 2012. Still, Munoz is 5-1 in his past six fights, and with Anderson Silva‘s recent loss, the UFC 185-pound division is now wide open.
For more on UFC Fight Night 30 and UFC Fight Night 31, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Lyoto Machida)