MMA DieHards has learned that Nick Catone (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has been forced to withdraw from his UFC Fight Night 22 match-up with Tomasz Drwal (17-3-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) due to an injured shoulder.
“Getting shoulder surgery Thursday and an epidural shot in my back the following week,” Catone told MMA DieHards. “All banged up. Pretty bummed out right now.”
“Hard to fight at 75% at this level,” Catone added. “I need to get healthy, been banged up and training on cortisone shots last year and a half.
“I have a tear, bone spurs and a cyst. Three herniated discs in my back from when I injured it in April still holding me up from some of my training.”
Catone won his Octagon debut by submitting Derek Downey at Fight Night 17, but dropped back-to-back bouts to Tim Credeur and Mark Munoz. He recently snapped the two fight skid with a split decision win over Jesse Forbes at Fight Night 20.
Catone had hoped to use a win over Drwal to create momentum for the opening of his own gym (www.nickcatonemma.com). The grand opening of the gym, scheduled for late September, will feature appearances from Ricardo Almeida, Renzo Gracie and current UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
Catone’s teammate Dave Branch (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will step in to take his place and face Drwal on the Sept. 15 card.
“Teammate Dave Branch will get it done in my place,” Catone told MMA DieHards.
UFC Fight Night 22 takes place in Austin, Texas with the main card airing live on Spike TV.