Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio informed MMAWeekly.com on Thursday that former UFC light heavyweight champion and current middleweight competitor Vitor Belfort has pulled out of his previously scheduled Oct. 11 bout against Matt Lindland due to a hand injury.
Belfort is the second top fighter to pull off of “Day of Reckoning” due to a hand injury, as WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko was unable to move forward on a possible title defense against Andrei Arlovski due to a lingering hand injury of his own.
As of now, Lindland is still believed to be on the card but without an opponent. There has been some speculation that EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields has been offered an opportunity to fight Lindland on the show. While Atencio expressed to MMA Weekly that Affliction has admiration for his ability, he was quick to point out that Shields is currently under contract to another organization.
It should be note that Affliction did pursue one other fighter under contract to EliteXC. Sources informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com earlier this week that Affliction officials had been interested in putting together a featherweight bout at “Day of Reckoning” between Mark Hominick and Bao Quach.
It was determined that Quach’s limited non-exclusive would prevent him from competing on the Affliction show and a 140 lbs. title match between him and Wilson Reis on Sept. 20 was finalized on Thursday.
“Day of Reckoning” is scheduled to be headlined by a battle of former UFC heavyweight champions Arlovski and Josh Barnett fighting for a title shot against Emelianenko. Heavyweight bouts between Ben Rothwell vs. Pedro Rizzo and Paul Buentello vs. Roy Nelson are expected as well a light heavyweight contest between Vladimir Matyushenko and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.