Michael Bisping’s awaited return to Manchester will have to wait. The UFC middleweight star has suffered a setback to a previous eye injury that has forced him to withdraw from the UFC’s UK event scheduled for Oct. 26, the promotion confirmed to FOX Sports.
Bisping will be replaced by former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who agreed to move up about a week from a scheduled Nov. 6 bout with Tim Kennedy at the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 card, a UFC source additionally said.
Bisping (24-5) last competed in Manchester in Nov. 2009, when he knocked out Denis Kang, though he has fought in London since. Right now, there is no timetable for his return from his eye issue.
For Machida (19-4), it is an opportunity to face a higher-profile opponent. He made the decision to drop a division after a recent controversial decision loss to Phil Davis. While Kennedy is unranked, Munoz currently stands at No. 5 in the UFC’s rankings.
Munoz has won five of his last six, most recently defeating Tim Boetsch in July.
The Manchester event takes place at the Phones 4u Arena.
Meanwhile, UFC officials will work to find a replacement opponent for Kennedy, who was set for his biggest fight to date and now will have to prepare for another challenger on less than one month’s notice.