It has been an insane couple of weeks of sudden injuries and fight shuffling in The UFC . With Vitor Belfort, Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch, Michael Bisping, Brian Stann, and Thiago Silva all having to pull out of their respective fights it has been a true test for matchmaker Joe Silva, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, and all the other behind the scenes decision makers at Zuffa!
When Vitor Belfort suddenly pulled out of his UFC 147 main event grudge rematch with Wanderlei Silva with a broken hand I thought the replacement of Rich Franklin to take his place was a pretty solid one, especially given the fact that they didn't have a whole lot of time or options. Franklin, being an ex-World champion at 185 and having a previous fight with Wanderlei back in 2009 in which he was victorious by a decision provided the fans with a fight that is guaranteed to be action packed. There previous match received Fight of The Night honors.
Thiago Alves pulled out of his fight at UFC 149 with newcomer, heavy handed Siyar Bahadurzada due to an undisclosed injury. Alves, would have been a great test for the much hyped Afghanistan born head hunter. Also Alves would have had a good chance to redeem himself from his tough loss to now top Welterweight contender Martin Kampmann. The UFC replaced Alves with Chris Clements. Clements and Bahadurzada are both making only their 2nd UFC appearance each. While the fight loses some big name recognition with the loss of Alves, Clements will be a worthy opponent for Siyar.
Jon Fitch had to pull out of his UFC On Fuel TV 4 match scheduled for July 11, 2012 in San Jose, California due to a knee injury. His opponent was supposed to be Aaron Simpson. Simpson, like Fitch has an extensive college wrestling background and is making his 1st appearance at Welterweight after dropping down from Middleweight. The UFC has replaced Fitch with Kenny Robertson. He has 1 UFC fight under his belt and it did not go too well for him. Mike Pierce TKO'd him at UFC 126. Not a very intriguing match up I have to admit.
With Michael Bisping and Brian Stann having to drop out of their respective match ups with Tim Boetsh and Hector Lombard, I have to say The UFC made the best of these terrible developments and matched up Boetsh and Lombard in what I can practically guarantee right now will not go the distance! This match will take place at UFC 149 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on July 21st 2012. It will be on the main card of an event headlined by Featherweight champion Jose Aldo vs Eric Koch. Before Bisping was suddenly hurt there was some talk of switching him off of his fight with Boetsh in order to keep the main event in tact for The UFC on Fox 4 card in which Lombard and Brian Stann were originally scheduled to fight before Stann had to pull out of fight with a separated shoulder.
Then Bisping was hurt so instead of making Boetsh and Lombard the Main Event on Fox they moved the fight to UFC 149 instead! I know, enough to make your head spin! I can imagine what Joe Silva and Dana White are going through.
This is the fight that I can't understand one bit and I am not the only one that feels this way. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's fight vs Thiago Silva was canceled due to an injury to Silva. UFC wanted to replace Silva with fellow Brazilian Glover Teixera. Word around town was that for some reason Rua's camp had no interest in a fight with Teixera. So out of no where they announce that Shogun will be fighting none other than Brandon "The Truth" Vera! The Truth is that Vera has done nothing in recent memory to get rewarded with a Main Event fight on network TV. I have no problem with Rua being there, Vera is 3-3 with 1 no contest in his last 7 fights and hasn't looked impressive in a long time. The joke always is what kind of dirt does Brandon Vera have on The UFC to keep getting fights , or who is he related to? He was basically cut from the promotion after his loss to Thiago Silva at UFC 125 in 2011. If it weren't for Silva being suspended for 1 year for turning in a faulty urine sample, Vera would be fighting in another organization. Then in his last fight with Elliot Marshal he won a very unimpressive decision at UFC 137. Vera at one time was thought of as a future star of the sport. He had many tools in his game but then starting turning out lackluster performances one after the other. I still feel this will not stay as the main event. I know ratings are not necessarily the whole story of every UFC event, but this is on Fox! This seems to be the cards that are scrutinized the most by the media and fans the most. I am just a little surprised they chose to go this particular route.
Regardless the hardcore fans will tune in, but for the casual fans the jury is still out.