While the main event for UFC Fight Night 56 will go on as scheduled, the flyweight bout between Ian McCall and John Lineker had to be scratched. Fox Sports reported that McCall has a blood infection and is too sick to fight. There was some indication Friday night that the bout could be in jeopardy when UFC President Dana White tweeted about McCall’s illness.
While it wasn’t scheduled as a title elimination fight, mixed martial arts experts thought that the winner could have the opportunity to take on the current UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson. McCall is the No. 3 contender in the flyweight division and John Lineker is No. 6.
This is the second UFC Fight Night in which a co-main event fight had to be changed within days of the event. Prior to UFC 155, bantamweight title contender Renan Barao had to pull out of a title fight with the current UFC bantamweight champion T.J Dillashaw, due to illness. Unlike UFC 155 in which Barao was replaced by Joe Soto for the fight, the late cancellation didn’t give the UFC time to find a replacement for McCall.
The UFC Fight Night flyweight bout seemed to be on track as late as Friday afternoon, where, during weigh-ins, McCall seemed to be in good health. He was even taunting his opponent for failing to make weight during the first attempt. Lineker, who has had trouble making weight for his fights in the past, weighed in at 126.7 pounds on the first attempt, but was able to make the maximum weight of 126 pounds on the second try.
Another fight had to be changed for UFC 56. Only a few days prior to fighting UFC legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, ESPN reported that British MMA fighter Jimi Manuwa had to drop out of the light heavyweight fight because of a fracture in his foot. A replacement was quickly found to fight Rua on the night of the fight in Brazil. Ovince Saint Preux is now scheduled to fight Rua in the much-anticipated bout.
Injuries are common in the sport due to its intensity and violence, even during their training regimen. The Inquisitr reported that UFC former champion Anderson Silva recently had to be hospitalized due to a back injury he sustained during training. Despite his past injuries, Silva still intends to fight Nick Diaz early next year in a UFC 183 bout.
The cancellation of the McCall-Lineker fight pushed the welterweight bout between Warlley Alves and Alan Jouban up to be the co-main event for UFC Fight Night 56.
[Image via Yahoo! Sports]