For the past year, fans haven’t really been big winners when it comes to the UFC’s heavy schedule of events. Cards get mangled, undercard fights end up in co- or main event status, and in the end people (especially those in Calgary) feel ripped off. In the past, a big fight cancellation on a card would often lead to excited speculation on what the UFC would do to fill the hole. Nowadays there are so many holes that the UFC just shrugs and gets their graphic designers to slide the next best fight up onto the poster.
But there are cases where this lockstep march from event to event comes in handy. Look at the UFC’s big NYE show: they need a big headline fight for it, and up until last week it sounded like it would be Junior Dos Santos vs Cain Velasquez. Then Junior Dos Santos muddied the water by saying he’d rather fight Alistair Overeem. But with Overeem’s suspension being 2 days before the NYE event, and that event needing a guaranteed Big Fight…
Junior Dos Santos may have a bigger bone to pick with Alistair Overeem than with Cain Velasquez, but that will have to wait.
Dos Santos, the UFC’s heavyweight champion, is expected to next defend his title Dec. 29 at the promotion’s year-end pay-per-view in Las Vegas. UFC President Dana White late Saturday confirmed the planned matchup following the post-event news conference for UFC 150 in Denver.
While the UFC’s traditional year-end show has not yet been announced, the heavyweight title tilt will headline what is likely to be UFC 155 at either the MGM Grand Garden Arena or Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Another positive in here for the fans: this means that Dos Santos will get two fights in for 2012. That’s getting pretty rare for UFC champions these days … Anderson Silva is on vacation after his sole fight of 2012 and isn’t even willing to discuss opponents until 2013, while this will be Georges St Pierre’s second 1 fight year. Whether it’s injuries or lack of motivation, the situation certainly isn’t helping the UFC stack it’s many, many cards. Especially as the behavior spreads to #1 contenders.
(pic via Tracy Lee’s Combat Lifestyle)