I was looking at the upcoming schedule for UFC fight cards, and it occurs to me that there's nothing scheduled for 5 weeks from late March - late April... Only thing significant about that time frame is the planned Strikeforce HW Grand Prix first round (Overeem v. Werdum). What do you guys think, will the UFC launch a free show to counter it and hype UFC 129? More details on UFC programming, and some hypothetical matches after the jump.So I'll start by acknowledging that, obviously, there's a chance that this is a pure coincidence. The UFC might just have a 5 week break. It's possible that the UFC is avoiding MLB opening day and playoff start for the NBA... That being said, I'm throwing my guess out there that the UFC will announce a free April show, possibly headlined by Wanderlei Silva's return (vs Brian Stann).
First off - UFC Schedule for the past 6 months.
|UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields||30-Apr-11|
|UFC Fight Night: Ortiz vs. Nogueira||26-Mar-11|
|UFC 128: Shogun vs. Evans||19-Mar-11|
|UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann||3-Mar-11|
|UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch||27-Feb-11|
|UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort||5-Feb-11|
|UFC: Fight For The Troops 2||22-Jan-11|
|UFC 125: Resolution||1-Jan-11|
|UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck 2||11-Dec-10|
|The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck Finale||4-Dec-10|
|UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida||20-Nov-10|
|UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami||13-Nov-10|
|UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez||23-Oct-10|
|UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama||16-Oct-10|
|UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop||25-Sep-10|
|UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares||15-Sep-10|
Now, you'll notice the UFC has not gone more than 3 weeks between cards even a single time. Add in WEC events and they're even more frequent. The last time the UFC went even 4 weeks was back in July 2010, after the Lesnar Carwin fight. To find a 5 week break, you need to go back to September 2009, and even that had a WEC card breaking up the long layoff. Now the UFC has absorbed the WEC, added two weight classes and they're taking a 5 week break? Seems a bit unlikely.
If the UFC really doesn't schedule any events in this timeframe, they will be completely ceding the narrative to Strikeforce to dominate all MMA news in the lead-up to their big April card. Dana has to realize this, and I think he's planning a nice April card.
Onto the possible Matchups:
Unfortunately there are no title fights that could realistically be made, and the biggest available star I see is Wanderlei Silva. He is scheduled for a 'spring' return, and it looks like he's not been added to UFC 129 or UFC 130.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann
Matt Hughes vs. ? (Hallman, Thiago, Swick?)
So, what do you think, total coincidence or evil Dana White master-plan?