Sherdog.com has learned that the upstart Gracie has been forced to
pull out of his bout with Travis Wiuff,
scheduled for Sept. 28 on Sengoku's forthcoming middleweight
tournament opener at Yoyogi National Stadium First Gymnasium in
Tokyo. The grappling phenom turned MMA prospect has sustained a rib
injury in training that has forced his withdrawal.
Gracie's management confirmed the injury and withdrawal to
Sherdog.com Wednesday morning.
On Sept. 8, Gracie was sparring when he took a hard kick to the
ribs. After being examined by renowned physiotherapist Dr. Kevin
Lidlow, who has previously worked with the British Olympic team,
Gracie was diagnosed with an intermuscular tear to the intercostal
muscle between the sixth and seventh left ribs.
Gracie is currently undergoing physiotherapy, and Lidlow has
advised the grappling kingpin that he should not train for at least
four weeks, at which point he will be reassessed with the
possibility of resuming light, controlled training.
Gracie's bout with the well-traveled Wiuff was to have been his
third pro MMA bout. The winner of five straight BJJ world
championships, Gracie made his MMA debut in December 2006,
submitting hulking heavyweight veteran Ron Waterman.
After signing with Sengoku in early 2008, Gracie returned to the
ring for the promotion's second card in May, where he notched a
first-round submission over Yuki Kondo.
World Victory Road, Sengoku’s parent company, is expected to
officially announce Gracie's withdrawal from the card Thursday, and
may announce a replacement opponent for Wiuff at that time.