One door closes, another one opens for the UFC and its fighters.
Although the cancellation of UFC 176 will remain an ugly mark on the company’s history, there is a silver lining in the fact that nearly every fight on the now-canceled card will be used to boost the value of other UFC events down the road. For all the knocks against the UFC’s multi-million TV deal with Fox Sports, it’s good that the promotion has the flexibility of more cards to disperse their expanded roster.
Granted, losing UFC 176 hurts, but it’s not the fiasco that UFC 151 was in 2012.
The only other thing to do with the card would be putting the remaining matches on UFC Fight Pass, but Zuffa apparently knows enough when to cut losses and simply move on. In case you missed it, here are the following schedule changes that have come up to date as of Wednesday.
UFC Fight Night Maine, August 16:
Bobby Green vs. Abel Trujillo
Jussier Formiga vs. Zach Makovsky
UFC Fight Night: Tulsa, August 23:
Beneil Dariush vs. Tony Martin
James Vick vs. Walmir Lazaro
UFC 177, August 30:
Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler
Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo
Derek Brunson vs. Lorenz Larkin
UFC Fight Night: Connecticut, September 5:
Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souza
In particular, the next UFC pay-per-view is thankfully benefiting from the shuffle. Despite new bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw scoring the Upset of the Year in dethroning Renan Barao, a recent history of bias against lighter weight classes didn’t spell a good trend for UFC 177. Nothing added so far will make much difference there, but one match-up of special note includes the long-awaited professional UFC debut of women’s MMA veteran Shayna Baszler, who has a legitimate grudge match with undefeated Brazilian prospect Bethe Correia.
Silver linings aside, this should be a reminder to the UFC of what happens when you build weak, single-fight UFC cards.
Aside from the fact that most MMA fans don’t like shelling out $60 twice a month for UFC events, it’s a problem that’s only exacerbated when the company is already setting up so many dates that the fighters are barely recognizable. Something has to give. Hopefully, it won’t be another major PPV event.