In the first women’s fight in UFC history, bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defends her belt tonight against Liz Carmouche in the main event at UFC 157 at the Honda Center.
On the undercard was a great featherweight battle Chad Mendes (13-1) vs. Manny Gamburyan (12-7), a longtime friend and training partner of Rousey’s. But that was before Gamburyan broke his thumb — and a nagging elbow injury was also diagnosed as a fractured elbow — and had to back out of the fight two weeks ago.
Sports Illustrated’s Melissa Segura first tweeted the news. Gamburyan confirmed the injuries to MMA Weekly and estimated he’d be sidelined about three months.
“I just want to apologize to the fans and (UFC President) Dana White and the UFC. I’ve been training really hard. We’ll fight down the road for sure. My team was the main event, and we’ve been training together for many years, and I really wanted to be part of it too.”
Rousey talked last week about not being on the same card as Gamburyan, who had no bigger and more vocal fan in his last fight — a unanimous-decision victory over Michihiro Omigawa in August on UFC on Fox 4 at Staples Center — than Rousey herself.
“I’m really bummed. I know he was really looking forward to us being on the card together like that. It’s disappointing, but I really do believe everything happens for a reason. And his elbow had been bugging him since his last fight, so if he hadn’t broken his thumb at the last moment, he wouldn’t have ever got that elbow checked out.
It’s terrible that it happened, but I think it’s also probably a little bit of a good thing. Because if he had gone in there with that broken elbow like that, he could’ve irrevocably hurt himself or wrecked his career.
So it’s unfortunate. I feel like that we shouldn’t hurt about what happened, just accept the positive things out of it. You know what? It’s terrible he got hurt, it’s terrible he had to pull out of fight, but it’s good we found out the extent of his injuries and he can be able to address them and deal with the healing and come back better than ever.”