The injury bug has bitten the UFC once again. UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre injured his knee today and has pulled out of his UFC 137 fight with Carlos Condit. This is just the latest of several card changes to what has turned out to be one of the most cursed main events of the year.
Dana White made the announcement today on Twitter to the surprise of MMA fans and enthusiasts excited to see GSP fight in less than two weeks.
“I just land in NYC and what do I always say!? I have to deal with bad sh*t everyday!! GSP is out with an injury!!! #oneofthosedays” – @DanaWhite
[adinserter block=”2″]The crushing news comes just eleven days before the scheduled fight. The short notice leaves the UFC without the ability to come up with a new fight for UFC 137. Instead, Dana White announced that they will move Nick Diaz vs. BJ Penn into the main event slot and keep Condit on the sidelines until the champion is recovered.
This is a huge blow to the UFC and the sign of a much bigger epidemic. The UFC has now had every divisional champion affected by injury in 2011. In addition to that, the UFC has now had over 10 main-event or co-headlining fights changed due to injury in 2011. While this is something most MMA fans have learned to live with, it could get ugly with new, more casual UFC fans that the company picks up with the Fox deal. Once okay, twice alright, but 10 times in a year may be a bit too much for a fringe fan to handle in 2012.
GSP’s trainer Firas Zahabi told MMAJunkie.com that the injury happened earlier today in a sparring session.
“After he cooled down, I knew he couldn’t fight anymore,” Zahabi said. “I’ve been around, I’ve seen injuries, and I know that that kind of injury is going to take at least two to five weeks of not standing on it for it to be really good (and) sturdy to fight. That’s just me estimating with what I’ve seen in the past.”
Let’s face it. UFC 137 has turned into a complete mess thanks to the Nick Diaz debacle. Quite frankly, I don’t understand how the UFC can justify holding Condit out to get his title shot, that he never really earned. The logical solution in my opinion is to sit Diaz, and put the Penn vs. Condit fight back on in the main event spot. White already said that Diaz would be under consideration with a win anyway. So now Diaz is going to have to fight again before he meets GSP? The UFC is playing a very dangerous game here with what is arguably the most anticipated championship fight of 2012.
[adinserter block=”1″]Josh Koscheck did offer to take the fight according to Dana White on Twitter. Dana passed. I think that was a smart move. If Koscheck wins, now Dana is boxed in to giving fans either Kos vs. Diaz or a GSP vs. Kos rematch. If Koscheck loses, now you sacrificed one of your big draws in a no-win situation. Neither is the way to go right now from a promotional standpoint.
All in all, UFC 137 is still a super strong card on paper. You still have Penn vs. Diaz as Mitrione vs. Kongo, Nelson vs. Cro Cop, and Siver vs. Cerrone. I have seen the UFC charge fans for a lot worse. However, it is still hard to ask fans to pay the same amount of money for a show in which you promised them a championship fight featuring one of your biggest stars.
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