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UFC middleweight contender Sean Strickland‘s return to the Octagon has been pushed back indefinitely after pulling out of his fight with Jared Cannonier.
Strickland is set to undergo a minor procedure to treat a finger injury he suffered while training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. As Strickland shared on his social media, he suffered the injury in sparring before it later became infected after landing on a sparring partner’s tooth.
Strickland was supposed to face Cannonier at an Oct. 15 UFC Fight Night event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Both middleweights were looking to make a statement after suffering tough losses at UFC 276 in July.
UFC President Dana White revealed the news of Strickland’s withdrawal at the Dana White’s Contender Series post-fight press conference on Tuesday night.
“Yeah, it does [affect the upcoming fight]. He’s out,” White replied when asked if the injury affected Strickland’s availability. “We had matchmaking today and that was when I found out there was something wrong with him. … I think we just scrapped the fight.”
Before falling to Alex Pereira via first-round knockout at UFC 276, Strickland had won six consecutive fights over the likes of Jack Hermansson and Uriah Hall. He made the move to middleweight after beginning his UFC tenure in the welterweight division.
It’s unclear if Cannonier will remain on the Oct. 15 card or have the fight rescheduled for a later date. Cannonier lost to UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya via a unanimous decision at UFC 276. In terms of a timetable for Strickland’s return, he’ll be sidelined for the next three weeks before resuming training.