The UFC flunks math–and vocabulary.
The UFC announced on Tuesday the derailment of UFC 176, the Staples Center card scheduled for August 2 featuring Hanford High School graduate and Cal Poly product Chad Mendes fighting in front of fellow Californians for the featherweight title, as a result of an injury to champion Jose Aldo. The promotion’s pay-per-view (PPV) progression now jumps from UFC 175, highlighted this past weekend by a Chris Weidman victory over Lyoto Machida, to UFC 177, held in late August. UFC 176, like Chuck Cunningham from Happy Days, falls down the memory hole.
The organization claims that Aldo’s injury merely “postpones” the event. But the semantics masks the reality that, for the second time in the UFC’s history, a numbered event disappears from a progression of featured cards that began with Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, and eight other mixed-martial artists in Denver, Colorado in 1993. Two years ago, an injury to Dan Henderson and the refusal of light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones to fight eleventh-hour replacement Chael Sonnen forced the promotion to
postpone cancel that summer card.
The UFC had filled about three-fourths of available seats in previous events at the Staples Center. UFC 176, dragged by a weak undercard and a rematch that nobody save Mendes was clamoring for as the headliner, wasn’t likely to outdo past UFC events at the arena. The departure of the featherweight champion due to a neck injury left Ronaldo Souza versus Gegard Mousasi as the most attractive fight on the card. What was an anemic PPV card suddenly became a series of fights better suited for free TV with Aldo off of it.
“The featherweight championship fight between Aldo and Mendes is expected to take place later this year and all other fights previously slated for UFC 176 are being rescheduled for upcoming cards,” the UFC explains on its site. “The August 30th Pay-Per-View event will remain titled UFC 177 Dillashaw vs. Barao II at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif.”