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Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira out of UFC 108 with Staph Infection (UPDATE)

Antonio Rodrigo NogueiraDana White announced earlier today at the UFC 105 post-event press conference that a scheduled bout between rising heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez and veteran fighter Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has been scrapped due to a serious staph infection the Brazilian is currently suffering from.

According to White, the infection is so bad it has gotten into Nogueira’s bloodstream and the former PRIDE superstar will have to be hospitalized while given antibiotics.

The cancellation adds to a recent string of illnesses and injuries affecting a number of UFC main events, including next weekend’s UFC 106 card which was originally scheduled to feature Brock Lesnar defending his title against Shane Carwin and Mark Coleman in Forrest Griffin’s spot opposite Tito Ortiz.

The unfortunate situation also leaves the freshly victorious Velasquez without an opponent and UFC 108 without a main event. While the idea of inserting Carwin into the slot vacated by Nogueira was mentioned, the UFC President stated the current top heavyweight contender was not an option due to recent knee surgery he’d undergone. However, White assured fans the UFC would find a suitable headlining bout for the January 2nd, 2010 event, saying, “This is my business; this is what we do.”

UPDATE: Shane Carwin took to his Twitter on Sunday to clarify his status, stating “Did not have surgery. I was injured and when Brock pulled out of 108 I got the injury looked at and began rehab. I have a grade 2 MCL Strain.”

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