The fiasco that is UFC 196 has taken yet another unexpected turn.
After watching Cain Velasquez bow out of the show’s main event against heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum with a back injury on Sunday, only to have Werdum exit stage left the following day with a toe and back injury of his own, the UFC decided to change the February 6 card from a pay-per-view broadcast to a Fox Sports 1 show featuring welterweights Johny Hendricks and Stephen Thompson, UFC 196’s initial co-main attraction.
Now, instead of cut and pasting “Hendricks vs. Thompson” behind UFC 196, the UFC has decided to change the title of the card to “UFC Fight Night 82: Hendricks vs. Thompson.” And instead of completely erasing UFC 196 from our memory banks, the promotion has decided to renumber their upcoming PPV events.
Therefore, “UFC 197: Dos Anjos vs. McGregor” on March 5 is now dubbed “UFC 196: Dos Anjos vs. McGregor.” And so on and so forth.
The big question now is whether UFC 200 will still take place July 9. The event is expected to be of the blockbuster variety, and UFC VP of public relations Dave Sholler said the monumental card will not be effected and there is “more to come.”
That would lead one to believe that the UFC will try to squeeze in another PPV card before UFC 200, most likely Memorial Day weekend on May 28.
“UFC Fight Night 82: Hendricks vs. Thompson” and “UFC 197: Dos Anjos vs. McGregor” take place inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor looks to become the promotion’s first two-way title holder when he challenges lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 197. Women’s bantamweight champ Holly Holm puts her belt up for grabs against Miehsa Tate in the co-featured contest.
Here is UFC Fight Night 82’s roster:
(UFC Fight Pass 6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
Noad Lahat vs. Diego Rivas
Ray Borg vs. Justin Scoggins
Artem Lobov vs. Alex White
(Fox Sports 1 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Mickey Gall vs. Mike Jackson
Misha Cirkunov vs. Alex Nicholson
Mike Pyle vs. Sean Spencer
Damian Grabowski vs. Derrick Lewis
(Fox Sports 1 10PM ET/7PM PT)
Josh Burkman vs. K.J. Noons
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs. Ovince St. Preux
Joseph Benavidez vs. Zach Makovsky
Roy Nelson vs. Jared Rosholt
Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson
Here is UFC 197’s current lineup:
Diego Sanchez vs. Jim Miller
Miesha Tate vs. Holly Holm (UFC bantamweight champion)
Conor McGregor vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (UFC lightweight champion)