A pivotal featherweight tilt could be scrapped from UFC 157—a pay-per-view scheduled for later this month.
According to a tweet from Sports Illustrated's Melissa Segura, The Ultimate Fighter alumnus Manny Gamburyan broke his thumb and fractured his elbow on Thursday and is out of his February 23 matchup with Chad Mendes:
Hearing Manny Gamburyan, scheduled to fight Chad Mendes at UFC157 broke his thumb yesterday and fractured his elbow. He's apparently out.
— Melissa Segura (@MelissaSeguraSI) February 8, 2013
Gamburyan has lost three of his past four bouts and was a big underdog heading into his bout with the Team Alpha Male standout. But he did win a convincing decision over Michihiro Omigawa in his latest bout at UFC on Fox 4 in August.
Mendes, a former All-American wrestler in college, has scored two straight first-round knockouts against over-matched opponents in the form of Cody McKenzie and Yaotzin Meza. He boasts a 13-1 professional mixed martial arts record overall, with his sole loss coming in a title bout against divisional champ Jose Aldo at UFC 142 in January 2012.
Despite the setback, many analysts still consider Mendes, a 27-year-old California native, to be a top-five fighter at 145 pounds.
Considering that UFC 157 is just 15 days away, it would not be surprising to see Mendes pulled from the card altogether if Gamburyan can't give it a go.