“Frankie Edgar is injured and oddly enough, Gray Maynard is hurt, too,” said UFC president Dana White. “Frankie hurt his back and his ribs. Maynard hurt his knee.”
The matchup, which was scheduled to headline the UFC 130 event on May 28 in Las Vegas, was to be the third meeting between Edgar and Maynard. They fought to a split draw in the main event at UFC 125 on Jan. 1. Maynard defeated Edgar by unanimous decision at a UFC Fight Night event in April 2008.
It is currently unknown how long each fighter will remain out of action.
Edgar’s boxing coach Mark Henry said the champion was enjoying a terrific camp alongside Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez
when the injury occurred.
“[Edgar] was looking phenomenal,” Henry said. “We probably had the best [training] we ever had and his back blew out. About two weeks ago his back blew out and we didn’t train for a week. He felt a little better the next week but the back was still messing up.
“Then he sparred with Eddie Alvarez and his rib was killing him. In the first round with Eddie, his back went out again. When his back went we told him he shouldn’t fight that way. Then his rib went and he had two things to deal with. What are you going to do with a broken rib?”
According to Maynard’s camp, the challenger’s knee began bothering him several weeks ago, at which point he contacted and visited UFC physicians. At that time, Maynard, who’s dealt with nagging knee injuries in the past, decided to proceed with the fight.
About 10 days ago, Maynard suffered a facial cut during practice. Again, he refused to withdraw from the fight.
“We were not going to pull out,” said Gil Martinez, Maynard’s boxing coach. “We wanted the title fight. To have it called off is devastating. The UFC knew weeks ago that Gray’s knee was bothering him but we did not want to push this title fight back. We already had to wait after the [January] fight because Frankie needed time to recover. Gray wants this fight more than anything.”
Martinez says the fight will now likely be pushed back as far as September, as the UFC’s schedule is already full regarding main events through that date.
The UFC also confirmed a light heavyweight bout between Quinton Jackson and Matt Hamill will now headline the May event. In addition, a welterweight fight between Thiago Alves and Rick Story will fill out the night’s pay-per-view card.
Brett Okamoto covers MMA for ESPN.com.