The UFC was forced to cancel the first pay-per-view event of 2019. UFC 233, which was supposed to take place on January 26th in Anaheim, was scrapped when the flyweight title fight between Henry Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw was moved to headline the Brooklyn card the week earlier.
The UFC’s rival company Bellator has also scheduled for a fight card that same night, headlined by the heavyweight grand prix final between Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader. With that, CEO Scott Coker has his own theories about why the UFC came up with their decision.
“It didn’t work out for them because to me, it’s a roster issue,” Coker told media members in a Bellator 213 post-fight scrum over the weekend. “Who’s gonna fight? And if you’re gonna bring somebody to fight against the Fedor-Bader card, which is free on Paramount and on DAZN, and you’re gonna run on pay-per-view, you better have your A-Game.
“I just think they ran out of bullets, so here we are.”
Also slated for UFC 233 was the awaited debut of Ben Askren, who will test himself against former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. That matchup has been rescheduled to happen at UFC 235 on March 2nd in Las Vegas.