The Ultimate Fighting Championship confirmed Saturday night during its pay-per-view telecast for UFC 96 that the previously announced UFC 98 main event between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir has been rescheduled.
During an interview with play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg, Mir confirmed a story first reported by FiveOuncesOfPain.com that revealed the interim UFC heavyweight champion was forced to withdraw from the May 23 rematch with Lesnar due to injury.
Mir informed Goldberg that he began to experience continued problems with a chronic right knee injury and elected to go surgery last week. According to Mir, he informed UFC officials of the development right after undergoing the procedure.
Mir said that while he can begin rehabilitation exercises immediately, doctors have advised him that it will likely be four to six weeks before he can resume full training activities. Such a timetable would leave Mir with only five full weeks to prepare for Lesnar, a scenario that he was not agreeable to.
The title heavyweight title unification match between Lesnar and Mir is now scheduled to take place on July 11 at UFC 100 in Las Vegas. After Mir made the revelation, Goldberg then transitioned to an on-camera interview with current UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.
Evans informed Goldberg that his scheduled first title defense has been moved up from UFC 100 to UFC 98 in place of the previously announced main event of Lesnar vs. Mir. At the time of the interview, it was unclear who Evans’ opponent would be, as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had yet to fight Evans’ training partner Keith Jardine in the night’s main event.
Jackson defeated Jardine via unanimous decision, clearing the way for him to move into a light heavyweight title match against Evans. Had Jackson been unsuccessful, the title shot would have been awarded to undefeated Brazilian sensation Lyoto Machida.