Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

Evans had to back out of title fight because of lingering thumb issues

On Wednesday, Dana White flipped out on Twitter on MMA media members who ran with a phony fight announcement that Rashad Evans would challenge UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones in December at UFC 140. Now we know why.

The reports were erroneous. Jones is fighting, but it'll be Lyoto Machida trying to snatch his belt. Evans had to drop out of the proposed fight because of an

"After my last fight against Tito Ortiz, I dislocated my right thumb, which required it to be set back in place and held with pins. 24 hours ago, my physician removed the pins. At that time, I learned that it would require another three weeks of rehabilitation before engaging in any exercise or training that would require the use of my hand," Evans said in a release.

He's disappointed, but knows the show must go on.

"Dana White and I spoke earlier today, and I fully understand his decision to put Machida against Jones for the title at UFC 140. Given the rehabilitation time I require for my dislocated thumb, I would not be 100 percent ready by December 10," Evans said. "The UFC has to keep making fights that entertain the fans. I would have done the same thing as Dana in his position. I'm asking for the fans to support me as I rehabilitate my hand, and I promise I will be back fighting very quickly."

Jones and Evans have a nasty rivalry brewing. The trained together at Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque before Evans left to train elsewhere. They were scheduled to meet at UFC 133 in August, but Jones had to bail from the fight with his own hand injury. Now Jones must defend his belt against the very tough Machida to get his shot at Evans.

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