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Back injury knocks Paige VanZant out of flyweight fight vs. Jessica Eye at UFC 216


Paige VanZant will have to wait a little longer to make her debut in the newly created UFC women’s flyweight division.

VanZant (7-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) suffered a back injury this past week and was ruled out to fight Jessica Eye (11-6 MMA, 1-5 UFC) on the Oct. 7 pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

A VanZant team member told MMAjunkie the news after an initial report from MMAFighting.com.

The bout was scheduled to take place on the pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass. It’s unclear at this point whether the UFC is searching for a replacement to face Eye.

This morning, Eye appeared to vent about the cancelation on Twitter, posting a GIF with the caption, “Damn it.” The women’s bantamweight vet saw her previous fight canceled with even less notice when Aspen Ladd fell ill and was unable to fight at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale.

After the scratch, Eye looked on the bright side and revealed UFC officials had promised her a fight at flyweight, where she competed prior to joining the UFC.

VanZant also looked for greener pastures at 125 pounds after the promotion opened the new division earlier this year. At 1-2 in her previous three outings, she eagerly accepted the bout with Eye because it didn’t require a debilitating weight cut.

But now, she’ll have to wait for a return. She hasn’t fought since this past December where she suffered a second-round submission loss to Michelle Waterson in a UFC on FOX 22 headliner.

Outside the cage, the 23-year-old starlet has kept busy with an autobiography that describes the bullying she endured while growing up in Dayton, Ore.

The UFC 216 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee – for interim lightweight title
  • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Fabricio Werdum
  • Jessica Eye vs. TBA
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham

PRELIMINARY CARD (FXX, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann
  • Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
  • Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
  • Poliana Botelho vs. Pearl Gonzalez

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)

  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Magomed Bibulatov vs. John Moraga
  • Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
  • Marco Beltran vs. Matt Schnell

For more on UFC 216, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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