UFC Cancels Anaheim Event Amid Trouble Building "Suitable" Card
UFC has "scratched plans" for its scheduled Jan. 26 PPV at Honda Center in Anaheim, though the promotion will "still feature" 12 PPV events in '19, according to Bohn & Erickson of MMA JUNKIE. The main reason for the cancellation is that there has been "difficulty building a suitable event." The Henry Cejudo-T.J. Dillashaw headlining match had "already been taken off UFC 233 and moved to UFC on ESPN+," which takes place Jan. 19 at Barclays Center. All other bouts slated for Anaheim "are being rescheduled for upcoming cards." UFC 233 was "set to go head-to-head with Bellator 214, which takes place just miles away from the Honda Center at The Forum in Inglewood" (MMAJUNKIE.com, 12/12). ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto noted it has "not yet been determined whether Anaheim will host that PPV once it is rebooked." UFC 234 on Feb. 10 in Melbourne "will continue to carry" that title despite the cancellation of 233 (ESPN.com, 12/12). Okamoto tweeted, "It's no secret, a big reason UFC 233 thinned out is the UFC is stacking its first ESPN+ card on Jan. 19. Good news if you're a consumer, right? Get a deep card for less money one week early, and you don't have to pick between UFC and Bellator on Jan. 26" (TWITTER.com, 12/12).
HERE WE GO AGAIN: In L.A., Brian Martin notes this is the "second time the UFC has announced a show at Honda Center the same night as a Bellator card, only to back off due to a lack of headliner fights." Bellator CEO Scott Coker "was diplomatic in a statement," though he "couldn't resist a dig on Twitter in the form of a GIF" that shows an infant turning around with a surprised look on his face. Martin notes UFC "knew it put the cart before the horse again in an attempt to put a dent in Bellator's wallet," and the "only option was to cut bait." Martin: "This is Southern California. Bring it strong or don't bring it at all" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/13).