UFC Vegas 23 has lost its main event as Darren Till vs Marvin Vettori has been cancelled just 11 days before fight night.
Till and Vettori were scheduled to meet in the middleweight division, with the winner expected to be in line for a future title shot as the division’s top rankings take shape following Israel Adesanya’s failed attempt to become a two-weight world champion at UFC 259.
That plan is now on the back-burner as England’s Till has been forced to withdraw from the bout, according to Vettori himself and ESPN’s Ariel Helwani who broke the news.
According to Helwani, Till was forced to withdraw from the bout after suffering an injury in training. The Brit released a statement on Instagram revealing he had broken his collarbone. Unfortunately this is not the first time he has withdrawn from a bout in recent times.
After losing his summer showdown on Fight Island to Robert Whittaker, Till was forced to undergo knee surgery after suffering a torn ACL during the fight. He accepted to fight Jack Hermansson later in the year, but after failing to recover from the injury in time he withdrew from the bout and it was Vettori who stepped in to the main event slot after original replacement Kevin Holland was forced to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Vettori would go on to dominate Hermansson to a five-round unanimous decision win and move into the top five to set up this fight with Till.
As it goes in the world of MMA, Ariel Helwani is reporting that Kevin Holland has accepted an offer to step in on short notice once more and is just waiting on the bout being signed off by all relevant parties.
Holland main evented UFC Vegas 22 against Derek Brunson on March 20th and was well beaten in a five-round decision where he failed to take advantage of the position he put himself in following a 5-0 run in 2020. A quick turnaround in another main event could potentially put him right back in the hunt for a higher ranking, although Dana White’s criticism of him after that bout could make the road a longer one than usual.
Vettori commented on the withdrawal of Till via Twitter, calling the Liverpool fighter out for pulling out of the fight. Holland was quick to respond on Twitter also, before the Italian seemingly agreed to the bout online.
The middleweight clashes that were due to take bout have taken a big hit in recent weeks, with Kelvin Gastelum stepping in to replace Paulo Costa to fight ‘Bobby Knuckles’ Whittaker on April 17th also.