Former UFC welterweight title contender Thiago Alves has reportedly suffered a broken rib and will no longer be able to compete against Benson Henderson at UFC Fight Night 79, sources tell MMAjunkie.
Already scheduled to compete against Dong Hyun Kim that same night, welterweight Jorge Masvidal will step in to replace Alves alongside Henderson at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, North Korea. Masvidal has defeated four of his last five opponents, and is 1-0 since making the jump to 170 pounds in July. The promotion has yet to announce whether Kim will remain on the card, sources tell MMAFighting.
The broken rib is the latest injury in a series of setbacks for the former welterweight title contender. Since challenging Georges St-Pierre for the UFC’s 170-pound title at UFC 100, Alves has suffered numerous injuries to keep him out of competition. He once spent more than two years on the shelf before coming back to fight Seth Baczynski at UFC on FOX 11 in April 2014. Alves would spend the better part of the following year on the shelf due to another setback, making his return from the nearly year-long absence against Jordan Mein at UFC 183 in January.
Henderson, meanwhile, has consistently been one of the more active fighters on the UFC roster since making the transition into the Octagon from the WEC in 2011. The former lightweight champion has fought 13 times since then, defeating the likes of Clay Guida, Frankie Edgar, Nate Diaz, Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson. He last stepped into the UFC cage as a welterweight, defeating Brandon Thatch at UFC Fight Night 60 in February.
Alves is the second fighter to pull himself from the card, with news of his injury coming just days after Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic announced he was not fit to fight Anthony Hamilton, citing an injured shoulder. It would later be revealed “Cro Cop” tested positive for a banned substance during a USADA drug test, claiming he’d been using growth hormones to repair his shoulder.
Henderson vs. Alves joins Dustin Poirier vs. Joseph Duffy, scheduled for Oct. 24, and Matt Brown vs. Kelvin Gastelum, scheduled Nov. 21, as the latest UFC Fight Night headliner to be scratched in the last month.