UFC Fight Night 134 in Hamburg, Germany later this month has taken another blow. This time, it’s Ilir Latifi out of the co-main event.
UFC Hamburg continues to take a beating, and the fights haven’t even started yet. Late Thursday, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that co-main event light heavyweight Ilir Latifi has been forced off the card, citing multiple sources. An undisclosed injury is the culprit behind the withdrawal. Latifi had been set to take on Glover Teixeira at the event.
It’s the second major blow to the card of late: main event star Volkan Oezdemir was pulled from his fight with Shogun Rua in order to face off with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 227 in Los Angeles, CA in August. Anthony Smith got the nod to replace Oezdemir at UFC Hamburg, which is just weeks away on July 22.
Latifi (14-5, 1 NC) had won two straight, with victories over ‘OSP’ — Ovince St. Preux — and Tyson Pedro. The bout against former title challenger Teixeira had the potential to push him towards the title picture in the frankly shallow 205lb weight class in the UFC.
The UFC is now left looking for a short-notice replacement against Teixeira, ranked 3rd in the division. Latifi is ranked 4th. The Brazilian will head to Hamburg, assuming the promotion can find him an opponent, off a win over Canada’s Misha Cirkunov.