UFC 219 Loses Marquee Match Up, 5 Days Out From Final 2017 Event

This weekend’s UFC 219 year end event has suffered a last minute fight cancellation due to an injury. As a result, the fight card on this weekends UFC schedule is getting some changes.

Originally slated to face Dominick Cruz, top UFC bantamweight contender Jimmie Rivera was lucky to book a replacement in John Lineker when the injury plagued former champion was forced out of his long awaited return to the Octagon.

Now, with just 5 days until fight night, Lineker has pulled out of the fight, due to an emergency surgery that will keep him from competing.

When news broke, Lineker released the following statement to MMAjunkie.com:

“I am really sad to have to withdraw from my fight with Rivera. I felt a little pain in the beginning of the week, went to the dentist and got treated, but (the pain) just kept getting worse. I came to Las Vegas early and tried to stay in the fight, but it was simply impossible.

He continued, “I would like to apologize to Rivera. I know how much it sucks when this happens. I want to apologize to Sean Shelby and the UFC. I begged them for the fight, and they agreed, and now I feel horrible to have to withdraw. And I need to apologize to the fans.

“I know that this would have been a great fight and everyone was looking forward to it,” Lineker said. “Hopefully Rivera and the UFC will agree to reschedule as soon as I can be ready to fight again.”

According to reports, several fighters lined up to take the bout on short notice, but it appears as if Rivera has declined to face several notable replacements, and will ultimately be removed from the card entirely.

Ultimate Fighter winner John Dodson is one of the men who is speaking out and calling Rivera a duck.

Taking to his Facebook, Dodson stated, “All I want for Christmas is for Jimmie Rivera to stop dodging me for the 2nd time. He needs a fight & I’m ready to go UFC219”

Another top contender Rivera has reportedly declined to come to terms with is Marlon Moraes, who is coming off a quick knockout of Aljamain Sterling.

These two went back and forth on social media, and were even talking smack on Christmas.

Check it out:

Despite these men all being available and willing, reports indicate that the promotion will indeed remove Rivera from the UFC 219 fight card.

Still though, there’s a chance he stays on the card. We’ll run update to the upcoming UFC schedule as they become available.

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