MMAFighting.com is reporting that UFC featherweight fighter Manny Gamburyan has had to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Raphael Assunçåo for suffering a back injury in training.
The two 145’ers were set to face off at UFC 128, which goes down this March 19th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The card will be headlined by the recently cobbled together light heavyweight championship bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Jon Jones. The card will also feature the UFC debut of former WEC posterboy Urijah Faber, who will appear opposite Eddie Wineland in the co-main event.
Formerly a UFC lightweight competitor, Gamburyan dropped to the featherweight division in the summer of 2009 and rattled off three wins in that division (including a stunning knockout over former champ Mike Brown) to earn a title shot against current 145lbs. kingpin Jose Aldo. The Brazilian phenom made short work of Gamburyan, knocking him out early in the second round. Gamburyan has not appeared in the cage since that fight, which went down in September of last year.
Raphael Assunçåo worked his way into the WEC by amassing a 12-1 record with notable wins over Joe Lauzon and Jorge Masvidal. Once in the promotion, Assunçåo posted a 3-2 record, outweighing losses to Urijah Faber and Diego Nunes with wins over LC Davis, Yves Jabouin, and Jameel Massouh. Assunçå has not yet made his UFC debut and the promotion is currently searching for a replacement opponent to stand opposite him at UFC 128.