UFC Forced To Cancel August PPV Scheduled For Staples Center Due To Fighter Injuries
UFC yesterday postponed the UFC 176 event that was scheduled for Staples Center on Aug. 2, the "second time in less than two years ... UFC has been forced to cancel a pay-per-view," according to Matt Erickson of MMA JUNKIE. The card was "supposed to feature a featherweight title headliner between champion Jose Aldo and challenger Chad Mendes, a rematch of a main event at UFC 142 in Brazil." But it was announced last week that Aldo "suffered an injury ... taking him out of the card." Without a "suitable headliner, and now with less than a month before the fight, the decision was made to postpone the event." Ticket refunds "will be offered to customers at the original point of purchase, either through the Staples Center box office, or through online outlets including AXS.com." Ticket sales for the event "already had generated $800,000 in revenue" (MMAJUNKIE.com, 7/8). ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto noted female bantemweight champion Ronda Rousey "appeared to be a potential fill-in to headline UFC 176, but is unavailable due to medical reasons." Rousey following her match at UFC 175 last weekend revealed that she was "dealing with pre-existing injuries to her right knee and hand," and the Nevada State Athletic Commission "medically suspended Rousey after the bout." A previously announced UFC 177 PPV event on Aug. 30 in Sacramento "will continue to be called UFC 177" (ESPN.com, 7/8).
SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD? UFC Chair & CEO Lorenza Fertitta said if the event is rescheduled for October, it would not be at Staples Center. Fertitta said, "That's one of the negatives. We were excited to go back to Staples Center. One of the issues, though, is Staples Center is probably one of the hardest arenas to book in the country because they're so busy. By that time of year, the professional sports teams, they have start to roll around. We will certainly work with them to try to find another date, but we're not real confident we'll be able to accommodate that." He talked about alternate sites for the event and said, "Right now we have a date scheduled in Rio de Janeiro for October 27th, and we're looking at a couple of other locations for earlier in October as well to see what's available" ("Fox Spots Live," FS1, 7/8). Staples Center VP & GM Lee Zeidman said that an "initial discussion about Oct. 11 wouldn't allow for the fight at Staples Center due to a sold-out Pitbull-Enrique Iglesias concert, but Oct. 18 and Oct. 25 are open" (L.A. TIMES, 7/9).