UFC 230 included a mini unofficial middleweight tournament with three exciting matchups across six top 10 ranked middleweights.
However one of the most iconic cards in the history has had its rollercoaster ride. After losing a lightweight barn burner between Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz, the card lost it’s current co-main event as former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold pulled out of his rematch against another former champion Chris ‘The All-American’ Weidman. The news was first confirmed by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. (via Twitter):
Per sources, Luke Rockhold is out of his middleweight fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 230. UFC already working on shuffling things around. This is the co-main event currently.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 19, 2018
This would mark the consecutive second time that Rockhold has pulled out of his fight after UFC 227 withdrawal against Alexander Gustafsson at light heavyweight. Rockhold hasn’t fought since losing to former title challenger Yoel Romero at UFC 221 back in February.
However the advantage of having different fights on the card chipped in as in came #5 ranked Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza save the day. (via Twitter):
Weidman vs. Jacare is done, per Dana White. UFC trying to keep David Branch, who was scheduled to fight Jacare, on the card. Jared Cannonier is a possibility, but not done.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 20, 2018
With Souza’s booking against Weidman leaves his original opponent former WSOF middleweight and light heavyweight champion David Branch looking for an opponent.
Souza taking on Weidman is still an interesting fight as the high level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu of Souza will collide against high level wrestling pedigree of Weidman. The fight of the fight gets one step closer to challenge the title after fellow middleweight Kelvin Gastelum.