Injuries happen in every sport, they’re unavoidable but what the UFC is currently experiencing is on another level. In the past the UFC has dealt with injuries head on, often putting together better fights than what was originally scheduled. The mounting injuries that the UFC is going through right now have crippled then from doing this and the resulting moves have weakened the upcoming summer cards.
Instead of replacing an injured fighter with one that wasn’t currently scheduled to fight the UFC has been forced to grab replacements that are already lined up for fights. This starts a chain reaction of changes that could potently change the look of a fight card; see the UFC 146 main card.
The Following upcoming cards have seen drastic changes due to injuries and with the dust still settling; these cards look and feel completely different.
UFC 147 was supposed to be headlined by the TUF Brazil coaches but an injury to Vitor Belfort left the Brazilian card without a main event and very popular fighter. In steps Rich Franklin to face Wanderlei Silva in a rematch of their UFC 99 bout that was won by Franklin via Decision. Franklin was already schedule to fight Cung Le on the UFC 148 main card.
Along with losing Franklin, the UFC 148 card lost TUF Live coach Dominick Cruz who was scheduled to defend his bantamweight belt against Urijah Faber. Renan Barao was removed from his preliminary bout with Ivan Menjivar to face Faber for an interim bantamweight title. Patrick Cote was added to the card to face Le and Mike Easton will now face Menjivar. The Faber vs. Barao co-main event has now been moved to the UFC 149 main event, leaving the Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin trilogy bout as the new co-headliner.
The new UFC 149 main event was needed with featherweight champion Jose Aldo got hit with the injury bug and his bout with Erik Koch was postponed. The news comes on the heels of the card already losing Thiago Silva and Michael Bisping to injuries. Silva was scheduled to face Mauricio Rua, who will now headline the UFC on FOX 4 card a few weeks later. Bisping was scheduled to face Tim Boetsch who will remain on the card but now faces Hector Lombard.
Lombard comes over from the UFC on FOX 4 card in which he was part of the night’s main event against Brian Stann. An injury to Stann allowed Lombard to fill void left by Bisping but in turn left this card without a headliner. That’s where Rua stepped in as part of the main event against Brandon Vera, who was removed from the July 11th UFC on FUEL TV main card that has already seen Jon Fitch forced off the card due to injury.
Does your head hurt yet???
Though all the bad luck the UFC has done the best with the hand they were dealt but that doesn’t change the simple fact that the summer fight cards have lost some great matchups and title fights that have weakened every card.