This was the original event poster for UFC 146. They've made approximately 23 different ones since this due to all of the changes.
Way back on March 8th, I wrote a piece asking if UFC 146 was the most stacked heavyweight card in history. Oh my, how times have changed. In just two and a half months the card has been completely ravaged to the point that it barely resembles the original. Alistair Overeem's removal was the crown jewel of destruction, but let's just take a look at the main card on March 15th compared to today's before we take a stroll down memory lane to see what got us here.
Yes, only three men were eliminated from the card (Alistair Overeem, Gabriel Gonzaga and Mark Hunt). But every single bout was changed because of those three dropping out. Remember the gigantic uproar over Mark Hunt stepping in for Overeem and getting the title shot? The #Rally4MarkHunt was the bane of my existence for a few days until Dana White finally backhanded all the Super Samoan fans with some logic. Can you just imagine if he did lose his mind for a second and gave him the title shot? There would have been even more chaos.
And that's just the main card. The feature bout of the preliminary card, Edson Barboza vs. Evan Dunham, is now Barboza vs. The Worm, Jamie Varner. Quite the disappointment. At least the rest of the prelims have stayed intact. I hope I didn't jinx them by saying that though - if Diego Brandao gets hurt later today or something, I'm going to feel pretty bad.
A lot of us will blame Alistair Overeem for not getting the heavyweight main card of their dreams, and that probably has some merit. It's still a very good card that a lot of people will undoubtedly order, but names like Dave Herman and Lavar Johnson don't sound as good as Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt, that's for sure. Did all the changes affect your interest in the card to such a degree that you might not order it now? They haven't affected mine, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people are willing to give this a pass now. And that's a shame. Just imagine what could have been.