Joe last saw action in the cage back in December of 2012. That was a decision loss to Ramsey Nijem at UFC on Fox 5. He was set to fight Al Iaquinta in April 2013, and he had injured his left shoulder leading up to that bout. Proctor commented on that injury and fight, stating "I was actually going to fight Al with the torn shoulder. It popped out a lot but for the most part I thought I was going to push through it." One of the primary functions of the labrum is to help stabilize the shoulder joint. It does this by forming a suction seal between the glenoid (part of the shoulder blade) and the head of the shoulder bone (the humerus). Disruption of the suction seal can lead to instability of the joint, as was the case with Joe.
Joe then suffered two broken ribs just two weeks before the fight, precipitating his withdrawal from the bout. On April 23rd he underwent surgery to repair the labrum and restabilize the shoulder.
Proctor squares off with Cristiano Marcello in the final bout of the prelims, streaming on UFC Fight Pass.
Oliveira last appeared in July 2013 at UFC 162, where he lost to Frankie Edgar. In October he withdrew from his scheduled UFC 166 bout, citing a leg injury. Prior to his loss to Edgar, Charles lost to Cub Swanson in September of 2012. That bout was notable because Oliveira injured his knee just prior to the bout. The injury was recounted by Stitch Duran in an interview with MMAJunkie, where he stated "I do know that in preparation for going out there, warming up, he twisted his knee."
Oliveira's two fight losing skid could be related to the knee problem, as I suspect that his cancelled UFC 166 fight was related to the knee. He faces Andy Ogle in the opening bout of the main card on Fox Sports 1.
"Jacare" last stepped into the Octagon in September at UFC Fight Night 28, where he defeated Yushin Okami in the first round. Souza injured his right foot with a kick, and drew a lengthy 180 day medical suspension as a result. He appears to have recovered well from that injury, and we should see the return of the "jacare" crawl with a Souza win.
Mousasi has not fought since April of 2013, when he earned a unanimous decision against Ilir Latifi at UFC on Fuel TV 9. He entered that fight knowing that his knee was injured, and he had surgery to repair a torn ACL following that fight. This was Gegard's second ACL tear on the same knee. In May 2013, Mousasi was interviewed by MMAJunkie Radio, and the information he gave at that time led me to believe that he may have had a traditional patella tendon graft for his first ACL repair, which was done in March of 2012. However, he recently revealed that his first surgery used a "donor" tendon, which would be a cadaver allograft. In the May interview, Gegard was asked about the failure of the first surgery, to which he replied "It was just, maybe training too early or something like that that caused the problems..." So, here is another MMA athlete who tried to take the fast track after an ACL injury, and wound up paying the price. Returning to high level training too early after a cadaver ACL reconstruction is a recipe for disaster.
It has been about 10 months since his second surgery, which probably involved use of the traditional patella tendon graft to replace the failed cadaver graft. I expect that Mousasi will have no ill effects of the surgery in the cage, but it will be interesting to see how Mousasi adjusts to leg kicks from Machida.
Rodrigo Damm will face off with Ivan Jorge on the preliminary card tonight. Damm was forced out of his last scheduled bout in October 2013 at UFC Fight Night 29. He developed kidney stones while cutting weight for the fight.