The hits keep on coming for the UFC. Just when the dust started to settle from the UFC 151 fiasco, the UFC has another problem on their hands. In a matter of hours the UFC lost both of its top two fights on the upcoming UFC 153 Brazilian event.
If Dana White thought he had it bad trying to find one main-event to save UFC 151, he now has to find two fights to save the upcoming UFC 153. The good news is that the UFC has a month to find replacement fights. The bad news is that the company will have a real hard time satisfying a Brazilian audience now that their champion has been removed from the card.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]Word broke shortly after the UFC 152 media call that Rampage Jackson was out of UFC 153. Jackson was set to fight Glover Teixeira in the co-headliner. White tweeted that Jackson was out with a back injury. This was a huge fight as it was Jackson’s last fight on his deal and a great opportunity to move Teixeira into the upper echelon of the light heavyweights with a win. The upper echelon of light heavyweights haven’t exactly been beating the UFC’s door down to fight Teixeira. Shogun Rua reportedly was fine with being cut rather than fighting Teixeira when asked. Finding a high profile replacement to fight Teixeira with a month out isn’t going to be easy.
No Rampage-Teixeira would have been fine if the main-event also didn’t happen to fall apart on the same day. The highly anticipated Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar UFC featherweight championship fight left as fast as it came. Aldo officially pulled out after suffering a motorcycle accident last week. Aldo was originally scheduled to fight Erik Koch who pulled out of that fight with an injury a couple of weeks back. This leaves UFC 153 with a main-event at this point of Erick Silva vs. Jon Fitch.
I am real curious to see how this plays out after all of the UFC 151 fallout. Dozens of UFC fighters publicly criticized Jon Jones for turning down a fight. Several including Anderson Silva claimed that they would have fought with no notice and saved the show after it had been cancelled. I am real interested to see if any of these fighters who all had problems with Jones for turning down a fight, turn down a proposed fight from Dana White with 30-days notice. This is a show that will likely be cancelled if nobody steps up. Let’s see how many of those fighters are willing to do on 30 days notice what Jones wouldn’t do with eight.
Count Urijah Faber in as a fighter that will stand behind his words. Faber has offered to step in and fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 153. At this point all reports indicate that the fight is under consideration. It is an interesting fight to think about, but I can’t imagine that anyone is really interested in paying to watch it. Plus, Frankie Edgar has everything to lose and nothing to gain. Edgar stepped down in weight to do the UFC a favor and in turn received a title shot. Putting that shot on the line against a guy that just recently lost could be devastating to the UFC’s future plans of an Edgar vs. Aldo fight. For that reason I don’t believe that the UFC will take Faber up on this offer. I think the UFC winds up pulling Edgar from the show to save one of the few marquee fights they have signed up for the future.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]Anderson Silva is an interesting name. Silva did offer to fight at UFC 151 at light heavyweight with 8 days notice. This is bigger. This show is in Brazil and Silva was extremely upset when his fight against Chael Sonnen was moved from Brazil to the point that he almost refused to fight. Silva could not only save the event, but get that fight he wanted in front of his home audience. On the other hand, does the UFC really want to expose their marquee fighter on a fight with short notice? Say Silva fights and gets KO’d on a fluke. That would kill marketing efforts going forward. I have read some tweets suggesting a third Silva vs. Sonnen fight but at light heavyweight. It is very intriguing but with a potential big money fight in the future with Jones vs. Sonnen, would the company want to sacrifice Sonnen’s first light heavyweight bid against the Spider?
The UFC is likely to announce a replacement sometime before the end of the week. We’ll have the announcement and analysis immediately thereafter.
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