Knee injury forces St-Pierre off UFC 143

Another knee injury, another main event up in smoke for UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre, who suffered a torn ACL which will keep him out of his scheduled UFC 143 championship fight against Nick Diaz on Feb. 4 at Mandalay Bay.

“I’ll be back on top, I’ll be back (as) champion,” said the 30-year-old St-Pierre on a conference call Wednesday, hours after UFC president Dana White Tweeted the Canadian superstar had torn the ACL in his right knee—which will not only keep him off the UFC’s annual Super Bowl show, but likely keep him sidelined for the better part of a year for the reconstructive surgery and rehab necessary to repair his damaged knee.

It was the second knee injury in as many months for arguably MMA’s biggest draw, who was scheduled to fight Diaz in October, before the UFC removed Diaz from the bout for failing to fulfill promotional appearances. Top 170-pound challenger Carlos Condit was to take Diaz’s place, but the championship fight was scratched when St-Pierre injured his left knee during training.

Now Diaz and Condit meet for an interim title, while St-Pierre¬—who fought just one time in 2011, earning a unanimous decision victory over Jack Shields at UFC 129 in April in Toronto—rehabs.

“I’m going to be back—stronger than ever,” St-Pierre promised.