The grudge match will have to wait. So will Jon Jones' first title defense.
A hand injury has knocked the new UFC light-heavyweight champion out of action for the time being, leaving the UFC without a main event for its upcoming return to Philadelphia in August. As a result, the promotion has booked a fight pitting Jones' scheduled opponent Rashad Evans against rising star Phil Davis.
The UFC 133 fight was confirmed by the UFC on Monday morning. It was first reported by the Canadian Press.
The full extent of Jones' injury and his rehabilitation time is not yet known, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, though it is believed to be a torn ligament. The uncertain timetable was a key factor in the change.
Evans (15-1-1) has not fought since last May when he defeated Quinton "Rampage" Jackson via unanimous decision. Afterward, he was supposed to fight Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, choosing to wait for Rua to recover from knee surgery to fight him. As Rua neared healthy though, Evans suffered an injury of his own. He was replaced in the fight by Jon Jones, who knocked out Rua to become the youngest UFC champion ever.
As members of Team Greg Jackson, Evans and Jones had originally promised never to face each other, but that bond fractured even before Jones won the belt. In the weeks since, Evans left his longtime camp of Team Jackson and the two have traded barbs online.
The friendship turned into a grudge match, but Jones' injury will sideline it at least for the time being. The UFC has yet to announce whether Davis would become the No. 1 contender with a win over Evans.
The unbeaten Davis is 9-0, and most recently defeated Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via unanimous decision at a Fight Night event in March.
UFC 133 takes place on August 6 at the Wells Fargo Center.