The hits just keep on coming for the UFC, as UFC 297 has lost a key fight.
Former champion Jan Blachowicz announced via social media that he will require shoulder surgery and his bout with Aleksandar Rakic has been scrapped.
The rematch was scheduled for January 20 and the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario Canada.
Blachowicz stated that he suffered the injury while training, joining the likes of heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Giga Chikadze as those forced to withdraw. All three went down while training for their respective fights.
“It wasn’t supposed to be this way,” Blachowicz wrote. “It’s hard to express how I feel because it’s a mixture of anger and sadness. Withdrawing from a fight due to injury is one of the most difficult decisions a fighter can make.
“However, sometimes there is no other option, especially when you are competing in the top five and want to put on a show at the highest possible level. Instead of fighting for the best shape, I fight with the pain during every training session.
“I did everything I could, but my shoulders need surgery. In this state, continuing preparations and entering the Octagon would be irresponsible and stupid.
“I always say that when I go into a fight, I must be 100 percent ready. I owe it to myself, my coaches, my opponent and, above all, the fans. Thank you in advance for your support!
“I am waiting for the date of surgery, after which rehabilitation and return to training will follow. I promise I will come back stronger!”
It remains unknown at this time of UFC officials will find a replacement to keep Rakic on the card.
UFC 297 Fight Card
The event features a middleweight championship match between Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis.
Also, Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva collide for the vacant women’s bantamweight belt, with Neil Magny, Dominick Reyes, Brad Katona and Arnold Allen all set for action.
This is the first UFC event in Toronto since 2018 and the seventh overall.