Former teammates Jon Jones and Rashad Evans have been trading barbs on Twitter and in interviews since it was announced they would battle for Jones’ Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title.
Their tussle will have to remain one of words for the foreseeable future.
Jones has a torn ligament in his right hand and is unable to make his first title defense against Evans, his former friend and training partner. Jones on Monday called the injury something that’s been recurring since his college wrestling days; he aggravated it when he won the title from Mauricio "Shogun" Rua on March 19.
Evans, the former champion who has been out of action since May 2010, instead will fight Phil Davis at UFC 133 on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia.
Evans first waited for Rua to recover from an injury, but was then injured himself and could not compete. Jones stepped in for Evans and beat Rua. Evans must again wait for his shot yet, but this time will compete in the interim.
Davis was a four-time All-American college wrestler who is unbeaten in MMA, but will be taking a big step up in competition. The Penn State alum should enjoy a huge advantage in crowd support in Philadelphia.
■ ALDO’S DEBUT — Jose Aldo will make his UFC debut Saturday, though he already holds the featherweight title.
Aldo will finally defend the belt he inherited as the World Extreme Cagefighting champion after the merger of the organizations in December.
Aldo, who called earning and defending the UFC belt a childhood dream, will take on Mark Hominick at UFC 129 in front of 55,000 fans in Toronto.
"Hominick is a great fighter. He is the No. 1 contender and I know this is his dream, too," the Brazilian said through a translator on a teleconference. "But his dream must come to an end for my dream to go on. And I have come too far, worked too hard and want to take care of my family too much to let anyone take this UFC belt from me."
Aldo said he will be at full strength for the fight. He was forced to pull out of his first scheduled title defense Jan. 1 because of damaged vertebrae in his neck, which resulted in diminished strength and tingling in his extremities.
Saturday’s card also features a welterweight title bout between Jake Shields and champion Georges St. Pierre. Ex-champions square off as Lyoto Machida takes on Las Vegan Randy Couture, who has said he is retiring after the bout.
■ UFC 129 VIEWING — With the addition of five fights scheduled to stream on Facebook, all 10 fights at UFC 129 will air live in some form.
The pay-per-view broadcast includes five bouts and will air at the new start time of 6 p.m.
A pair of welterweight matchups, with Nate Diaz meeting Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger facing Sean Pierson, will air live on Spike (Cable 29) at 5.
The Facebook stream begins at 3 p.m. on the UFC page on the social media site. All five Facebook fights feature a U.S. fighter taking on a Canadian.
■ MAYHEM SIGNED — The UFC signed Jason "Mayhem" Miller and announced he will fight Aaron Simpson at UFC 132 on July 2 in Las Vegas.
Miller, host of "Bully Beatdown" on MTV, lost his only UFC fight to Georges St. Pierre in 2005. He’s competed mostly in Strikeforce and Japan-based Dream in the last few years, but hasn’t fought since a first-round submission win over Kazushi Sakuraba in September.
A light heavyweight matchup between Tito Ortiz and Ryan Bader also has been added to the UFC 132 card, to be held at the MGM Grand Garden. The main event is a bantamweight title fight between Urijah Faber and champion Dominick Cruz.
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