The UFC’s plans to move their upcoming May 9th PPV card from Sao Paulo, Brazil to a yet-unnamed location in the United States looks like it will leave the planned fight bookings for the event in shambles. News is already out that headliner Jose Aldo has had to withdraw from his planned title fight against bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo. Now, however, MMA Fighting reports that the move will also result in six other Brazilian fighters getting removed from the event.
Shogun Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been scrapped altogether. And Ketlen Vieira, Bethe Correia, Augusto Sakai, and Carlos Felipe have all been scratched from their respective bouts, as none of the fighters were able to secure visas to travel to the US.
Fortunately for the UFC, Amanda Nunes’ planned title fight against Felicia Spencer will likely remain on the card for now, since Nunes has been living and training out of Florida full time for years now. Similarly, a planned bout between Fabricio Werdum and Oleksiy Oliynyk is still alive, since Werdum lives in Los Angeles, CA and trains at Kings MMA.
Of course, with a full month still to go, that doesn’t leave any actual guarantees that the fights or even the events the UFC has planned will actually take place. As government regulations continue to limit travel and events like sporting contests, the UFC appears to be testing the limits of exactly how far law enforcement will go to shut down events. Including the use of tribal lands and even the securing of a private island.
For now, that means fans still have some fights to look forward to. But things could change dramatically from one day to the next.