UFC featherweight Manny Gamburyan, scheduled to fight Chad Mendes on Feb. 23 on the UFC 157 undercard, suffered a broken thumb and fractured elbow Thursday night during a training session. The injuries will force him to withdraw from the Mendes bout.
While the Gamburyan-Mendes matchup was crucial to helping the Armenian-born Gamburyan climb the featherweight ranks again, the bout had both historic and personal significance for the fighter. He’s had a longstanding friendship with headliner Ronda Rousey, with whom he’s trained judo since she was a child. Gamburyan told SI.com in an interview last month that he sought out UFC president Dana White to ask him for the opportunity to appear on the same card as Rousey. “It’s an honor to fight on the same card as her,” he told SI.com in the interview.
It’s now an honor, it appears, that will have to wait for his recovery.
There was no immediate response from a UFC spokesman about plans to replace Gambuyran.-- Melissa Segura