Brazilian lightweight Leonardo Mafra won't be fighting at UFC on FOX 20 anymore. As Combate reported, "Macarrao" suffered an eye injury in his last fight, against Anthony Njokuani on June 11 at FFC 25.
According to Mafra's manager, Stefano Sartori, there's a risk Mafra could detach his retina if he takes the fight against Michel Prazeres, on July 23, as his doctor said he will need at least two months to heal.
"Macarrao signed a contract with the UFC and everything went according to plan. Unfortunately, he suffered a small eye injury which made him not pass his eye test, making him unable to fight. He was feeling confident, it was an excellent fight. But that's life."
UFC featherweight veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri has had his career plagued by detached retinas, having suffered three of them. Middleweight champion Michael Bisping nearly had his career ended in 2013 due to his own detached retina. Retired middleweight Alan Belcher had a detached retina in 2010, and never regained 100% of his vision in his right eye.
Mafra, who was released by the UFC last year, was ready to make his return against Michel Prazeres, at UFC on FOX 20 in Chicago, on July 23. Fortunately, the UFC was able to find a suitable replacement for Prazeres, as JC Cottrell accepted the fight on short notice. Prazeres’ original opponent was Tony Martin, but Martin withdrew due to injury.
UFC on FOX 20 will be headlined by a potential title eliminator in the female bantamweight division, as former champion Holly Holm takes on rising prospect Valentina Shevchenko.