On his 37th birthday, the light-heavyweight Brazilian Rogerio Nogueira had to deal with an unpleasant situation: he will be forced to give up his rematch against Mauricio Rua at UFC 161 on June 15 in Winnipeg, Canada. A back problem again bothered the fighter.
Nogueira had been preparing well for the fight, but felt back pain because of a herniated disc in training last Monday. The problem is not serious, but it was enough to get him out of the fight, due to the proximity of it.
Lil Nog and Shogun engaged in one of the best fights of all time back in 2005 and the rematch was expected to draw a lot of attention. Unfortunately for the fighters and fans, it will have to wait for another day. The injury epidemic for this card reminds me of last summer's event in Canada - UFC 149.
With only 12 days notice, it might be tough to find a replacement to fight Shogun. There is one other light heavyweight fight on the card outside of the main event, Igor Pokrajac vs. Ryan Jimmo, so one of them might be bumped up to meet the former champion.
UPDATE: Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting confirms the news:
UFC has confirmed to me that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is in fact out of UFC 161. They are searching for a replacement to fight Shogun.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 2, 2013