A knee injury that kept Rashad Evans out of his UFC 170 co-main event clash with Daniel Cormier this weekend is more serious than was first thought and will require surgery.

The former light-heavyweight champion will go under the knife later this week and as a result is expected to be unable to train for the next six months while he recovers.

“I am deeply disappointed to be missing the action at UFC 170, but I am, as always, incredibly grateful for the support of my family, friends, management, the UFC, and most of all my fans during this minor setback,” Evans stated in a press release. “Thank you for your continued messages of support. I’ll be back stronger than ever!”

Evans had been on a two-fight winning streak leading up to Saturday night’s bout, earning a split decision victory over Dan Henderson and a first round TKO stoppage against Chael Sonnen that had left him ranked as the No.3 contender at 205lbs.

Despite Evans pulling out at short notice, the UFC have managed to keep Cormier on the bill at UFC 170 by drafting in one of his old wrestling training partners Patrick Cummins, who holds a 4-0 professional mixed martial arts record and will be making his Octagon debut, to face him instead.

In no way is Cummins considered to be a like-for-like replacement for Evans in terms of stature, but Cormier was eager to remain on the bill after having trained hard to cut weight down to light-heavyweight for the first time in his MMA career and so the UFC did the best they could to find a late replacement.

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