Michael McDonald will not fight Urijah Faber at UFC 148 due to an injured hand. (Photo: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE)
Wrestling Observer founder Dave Meltzer reported in his Thursday update that UFC president Dana White said McDonald's hand was injured but didn't go into details about the severity or how long he would be out for. Meltzer added that one source told him that McDonald was the favorite to get the nod against Faber.
As of this writing, McDonald had not acknowledged the injury on Twitter. Faber's opponent will be announced on Friday night's edition of The Ultimate Fighter Live. He was to fight UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz in the main event of UFC 148 in Las Vegas on July 7, but Cruz suffered a torn ACL in training and will be out indefinitely.
The leading candidate is Renan Barao, a 25-year-old who is undefeated in 29 straight fights over the past seven years. A WEC transplant, Barao is 3-0 in the UFC with wins over Cole Escovedo, Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen. He is scheduled to fight on the July event against Ivan Menjivar.