Only months after undergoing surgery to repair a detached retina in his right eye, UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping suffered another eye injury and was forced to withdraw from his Oct. 26 bout at UFC Fight Night in Manchester, England, against Mark Munoz.
The UFC announced that ex-light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who will be making his middleweight debut, would replace Bisping in the fight. ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto first reported the news.
Bisping, 34, injured the right eye originally when he was inadvertently poked by Alan Belcher on April 27 in Newark, N.J., at UFC 159. He underwent surgery in June, and has done commentary for the UFC's broadcasts on Fox Sports 1, FX and Fuel while recovering.
It is unknown exactly how Bisping injured the eye this time and whether it will impact his career going forward. Attempts by Yahoo Sports to reach Bisping and his manager, Audie Attar, were unsuccessful.
UFC president Dana White told ESPN that the UFC would "get him the best treatment possible. Hopefully he'll be able to get through this thing."
The UFC's UK office released a statement from Bisping in which he said he hoped to return soon.
"I am devastated for everyone who bought tickets to see me fight Munoz," he said in the statement. "I am so sorry for the fans, I really am. I am disappointed for myself, too, but my first thoughts are with the fans who have made sacrifices to come and see me in Manchester.
"I can only apologize to them, and to the UFC. I have been training so hard for this fight, that I just cannot believe I will not step into the Octagon in Manchester. But I promise my fans I will be back real soon."
Machida is coming off a controversial loss to Phil Davis at UFC 162.