Jose Aldo is injured and his bout against Mendes has been scrapped. According to MMA Fighting, the champion has suffered a "shoulder and cervical spine injury", and while no return date has been specified, Aldo can't train and will have to return for another examination in 3 weeks.
Brent Brookhouse: There's only one month to go until the card and, while Aldo wasn't a great draw or anything, he was by far the biggest name on the show. At this point the top selling name on the card? Gray Maynard.
One idea I've seen tossed around is giving Cub Swanson a bout with Chad Mendes for an interim title, but Swanson got rattled a little against Stephens and likely shouldn't be fighting on a month's notice. And that would be a pretty miserable PPV headliner anyway.
Mookie Alexander: Can Jacare vs. Mousasi 2 as a main event really do any worse than UFC 174, which had an actual title fight and two top 5 welterweights in the co-main? If the answer is no, then yeah this should be canceled. This card isn't good enough. It was Fox Sports 1 caliber to begin with.
Brent Brookhouse: Johnson at least had some name recognition as a guy who headlined shows on Fox. I mean, I know 125 doesn't draw and all that, but that's SOMETHING. I think the "could it do as well as 174?" answer is "I don't know." Which has to be terrifying, right?
Fraser Cofeen: They are definitely in a bad position, but I don't think they can cancel. We're just two years removed from 151, and the precedent a second PPV cancellation would set would be disastrous. At a time when buy rates are spiraling out of control and interest seems to be waning, the danger of a second cancellation is huge as it tells prospective ticket buyers that they can't count on the show ever actually happening. Of course, if they deliver a truly terrible show to those ticket buyers, it's not a plus, but it's better than no show. And yes, this could be bad - maybe worse than 174.
So do they have any other options? Not many. An interim title seems like the best plan, but who faces Mendes for it? Korean Zombie? Maybe pay BJ Penn to get "injured" and beg Frankie Edgar to move to 176? I'm grasping at straws here, but that's where we're at.
Anton Tabuena: I'm with Fraser here, they shouldn't cancel because that brings on even more negatives than a low buy rate. Now, as for saving the card, unless they can pay Diaz to make a return, they're really not going to sell big here, so why not forget about the buys for 1 card, and just try and build more stars at that lighter weight class?
Aldo is out with a spine injury, so have Mendes take an interim title fight against whoever is available. If it's Swanson then perfect, but if he's still banged up, call up Zombie, Lamas, or hell, and some people may think I'm crazy for saying this, but you can even bump up Conor McGregor who is already in camp for July. You won't get much PPV buys, but that winner gets a 'champion' label that makes him a bit more marketable.
Whether it's still Mendes, a fresh contender, or the UFC's wet dream of having someone like McGregor holding a belt, this automatically sets up a future title unification showdown that would surely sell more than this initial match up with Aldo that didn't really have any buzz to begin with. Accept the low buy rate, build interest on the future contender.
Steph Daniels: Make it free. Nobody wants to buy a PPV card with no name value.
Karim Zidan: This should undoubtedly not be a PPV card. All the reasons have been mentioned above. I will say this though, if we initially considered the past slew of PPV events to have been unworthy of the $60 we are charged for it, can you imagine what we could be in store for for this next one? I shudder to think....
Kyle McLachlan: The best solution would be if either Frankie Edgar or BJ Penn come out of their bout unscathed and can step in for a fight with Mendes. Edgar would be the better choice in terms of relevance, and I'm not sure BJ would be the better option if you needed a guy to step in quickly. Aside from this, Sean Shelby doesn't have many options. Cub Swanson is likely a bit dinged up, Ricardo Lamas broke his thumb, and Chan-Jung Sung probably isn't suited to a fight on four weeks notice as he's been out for nearly a year.
Maybe, just maybe they try and get TJ Dillashaw back. He's supposedly fighting Barao at UFC 177, but TJ-Barao 2 being shifted, unlikely I know, could save the PPV.
T.P. Grant: Really what the UFC should do is scrap the card and cannibalize the fights onto other cards in the general time frame. Bolster up other cards rather than dealing the logistical problem of making this card free, which with Fox's TV schedule I imagine would be a lot trickier than when Bellator did it with Spike, who just has to bump a 100 Ways to Die Marathon. There are 4 additional cards in August, a Fight Night early in September on which all these fights could be spread out adding depth to events.
Anton Tabuena: I would normally agree with what you just said in principle, but let's face it, Mousasi vs. Jacare and Maynard vs. Camoes are the only two bouts that would somewhat increase value for the next cards. The rest would still be the normal filler that a lot of people (unfairly) complain about for all these 'watered' down cards.
Kyle McLachlan: I agree with Tom. Scrap it, and move the whole card to the proposed event in late August headlined by the Dillawshaw-Barao rematch. If Edgar comes through unscathed and Mendes is down to fight, there's a solid co-main to go along with Jacare-Mousasi. I don't think anyone would complain about having to pay for that!
Fernando Arbex: Wouldn't be possible to move Lawler vs. Brown to UFC 176 and headline the Fox card with Rumble vs. Lil Nog? It wouldn't be the best pay-per-view sell ever but could save it somehow. Kyle's idea of Edgar stepping to face Mendes for an interim title sounds good to me, if Frankie beat BJ. I don't think that Dede Pederneiras will accept a rematch between Barao and Dillashaw in short notice, he wanted that fight to be placed in Brazil and he has work to do with Barao.