If you have not heard by now, Rashad Evans is injured and his co-main event bout with Daniel Cormier next weekend at UFC 170 has been cancelled. With the UFC’s paltry Light Heavyweight division, no apt challenger can step up on short notice, so it looks like Cormier will be removed from the card as well.
This was the straw that broke the camel’s back of the cursed UFC 170 card. At this point, the Welterweight tilt between Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia will co-main event. The card that started with such potential has been plagued by injury and bad luck. Today, I run down the unfortunate circumstances that left us with a mutilated UFC 170 event:
- This all began at the UFC 168 post-fight press conference. Dana White announced that Ronda Rousey would have a quick turnaround and would fight fellow Olympian, Sara McMann at UFC 170. Not only did he break that news, but he also revealed the poster for the event. On the poster was a bout between Lightweights, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Gilbert Melendez. Pundits and fans alike were already excited for the card that was two months away. Unfortunately, the UFC showed off the poster in haste, as Melendez was in contract disputes and the Nurmagomedov fight slipped through the cracks.
- Then came the injury to Bryan Caraway. His bout with Lucas Martins was in jeopardy, but the UFC was able to pick up rising prospect, Aljamain Sterling, to face off against Martins in what looked to be an exciting battle. Unfortunately, Martins was forced to withdraw as well, and was replaced by another UFC newcomer, Cody Gibson.
- The injury bug struck again, and this time to two of the biggest fights on the card. Francisco Rivera broke his hand in training and was forced to pull out of the fight against Raphael Assuncao. That bout had the chance to be a #1 contenders bout for Assuncao and was a huge opportunity for Rivera to play spoiler. The UFC ultimately signed another exciting prospect to take on Assuncao in Pedro Munhoz. The next injury was to exciting Russian Lightweight prospect, Rustam Khabilov. Khabilov was also forced to withdraw from his bout with Rafael Dos Anjos, which was a monumental bout in the UFC’s Lightweight division.
With the event already cut off at the knees, losing stars to injury left and right, the only thing left to salvage the card was the co-main and main event bouts. With only a little over a week left before the event, the final nail in the coffin was laid as Rashad Evans was forced to withdraw from the co-main event.
When you couple the injuries with the lack of UFC promotion for the event, this pay per view is setting up to be an absolute disaster. There is word that there are thousands of tickets still available, which does not bode well for the live gate or the pay per view buys. If the UFC wants to save this event, they need to pull something out of their sleeve, and quickly.