It looks like Rashad Evans’ return to the cage may have to wait.
As noted last night, Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight with Evans at UFC 133 next month due to a knee injury.
UFC President Dana White asked Tito Ortiz to fill in for Davis on short notice against Evans, but Ortiz declined. White went on to offer the fight to former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who also turned down the proposed match-up.
“It won’t happen… I think he doesn’t have enough time to get ready,” Machida’s manager Ed Soares told TATAME.
“The UFC called him [Tuesday] to offer him the fight,” Machida’s wife told Sherdog. “After a conference, Lyoto, his managers and the UFC representatives decided it wouldn’t be a good decision for him to fight. It would even show a lack of professionalism on Lyoto’s part to take the fight, having such a short period to train.
“No one is playing anymore, everyone is very focused and serious, so it would be silliness to accept,” Mrs. Machida continued. “To take the chance to not fight as well as he could if he was prepared, would be giving a chance to unluckiness. ‘Be prepared’ is one of his principles.”
With Ortiz and Machida both turning down the fight, the organization may promote the co-main event of the card featuring Rich Franklin facing Antonio Rogerio Nogueira to the headliner spot.
UFC 133 will take place on August 6, 2011 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.