The UFC’s December slate of action has taken yet another hit Wednesday evening, as former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will no longer be competing at UFC 219 against rising contender Jimmie Rivera. Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting was the first to report the news.
Cruz is said to be dealing with a broken arm.
UFC 219 would have marked Cruz’s first fight in 12 months, last competing at UFC 207 in December 2016. He looked to defend his bantamweight title that night, ultimately suffering a stunningly one-sided defeat to now-former champion Cody Garbrandt. There’s no word on how long the injury will keep Cruz out of action, with this being the latest injury-related setback of his storied career.
Regarded by many as the greatest 135-pound fighter in the history of the sport, Cruz has seen a handful of years of his prime washed away due to injury. He was out from October 2011 to September 2014 with numerous injuries, absent from the cage again from September 2014 to January 2016. He fought three times in 2016, winning back his title against T.J. Dillashaw, before defending it against rival Urijah Faber and losing it to Garbrandt.
Helwani also notes it’s unclear what will be done with Rivera, who was looking to pick up the biggest win of his professional career.
Already without a main event announced, the UFC’s year-ending card now loses its most popular fighter.
News of Cruz’s injury comes just a few hours after it was revealed Frankie Edgar, headlining UFC 218 against featherweight champion Max Holloway, would be forced to withdraw from his contest with an ailment as well.