IT SEEMS THESE days in the UFC, training injuries are now contagious.
No fighter or card is safe from this epidemic that has helped consign UFC 153 as the “Phantom Event” and almost claimed the life of the upcoming show in Brazil.
As Dana White struggled through his summer of discontent, the announcement of a super-fight between Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo was supposed to signal the end of all the hardship endured by the company in recent times.
But, in an almost sickly predictable way, that card has fallen to pieces with the news that not only Jose Aldo is out through injury but “Rampage” Jackson has also been forced off the card leaving another event hanging in the balance.
Strange choice of opponent for Silva
Anderson Silva’s first offer to step in and save UFC 153 may have been disregarded but he won’t be denied a second time as he has been called upon to fight in his home country once again as he is tentatively scheduled to face Stephan Bonnar in Rio come October.
The fight will be a step up in weight for the Brazilian and will be over three rounds in the light heavyweight division, so no title will be on the line.
There is no doubt that it is always exciting to see “The Spider” in action and no one can blame him for wanting to compete in front of the famous frenzied Brazilian support, but the choice of Bonnar as his opponent has left some fans baffled.
Having been instilled as the strongest favourite for a fight in UFC history by the bookies, Silva seemingly needs only to turn up to win, while Bonnar’s only chance of victory would be if he entered the Octagon brandishing concrete gloves.
The universal view that Bonnar is no match for Silva begs the question of why the matchup was made in the first place.
It should be no fault of “The American Psycho” for taking the match. He has been a long, loyal servant to the UFC and his truly epic fight with Forrest Griffin helped get the organisation to where it is now.
Having paid his dues, Dana White has obviously given him his request for one last big send-off but this has all the potential of being every bit as embarrassing as his Griffin’s defeat at the hands of the same man.
With “Big Nog’s” return also on the same card, the UFC have definitely warmed themselves to the large and lucrative Brazilian market but is taking a huge risk by putting on a main event that is viewed as a walkover.
Quinton Jackson has been replaced by Fabio Maldonado as he faces the man “Shogun” Rua refused to fight, Glover Teixeira, while Jon Fitch, Phil Davis and Demian Maia are all in action on the main card.
The UFC are fortunate in a way that the card is so well stacked and the only hope now is that the main event will not turn out to be the one-sided beat-down that most people are predicting.