UFC Vegas 9 Hit Hard By Bout Cancellations

Photo by Jerry Meaden from Flickr

A spate of late cancellations, including one on the day of the card, caused Saturday’s UFC Vegas 9 card to be the smallest event contested by the promotion since 2005.

UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai went off with only seven fights on the card. That’s the lowest number of bouts featured during a UFC event since UFC Fight Night 2 on Oct. 3, 2005. That night also included just seven fights.

This was the third week in a row that a UFC card was required to pull a bout on the day of the match due to a positive test for COVID-19.

The night featured only a main event. No preliminary bouts were cardded for UFC Vegas 9.

Follow The Bounced Bouts

In total, there were more fights canceled from UFC Vegas 9 (eight) then there were fights actually contested on the card (seven).

A heavyweight bout featuring Marcos Rogério De Lima against Alexander Romanov was called off approximately 90 minutes prior to the first fight of the night entering the octagon at the UFC Apex gym on the promotion’s corporate campus in Las Vegas. The UFC also canceled a bout between lightweights Thiago Moisés and Jalin Turner.

De Lima and Moisés are Brazilian teammates at American Top Team. Reports originating out of the Brazilian media site Combate indicated that both fighters had tested positive for COVID-19.

A 135-pound bout between Nicco Montano and Julia Avila was also called off when Montano tested positive for COVID-19. A slated 125-pound match between Montana De La Rosa and Maryna Moroz was pulled from the card when Moroz withdrew. Likewise, a 135-pound bout between Macy Chiasson and Sijara Eubanks was dropped after Chiasson withdrew. Eubanks was then rescheduled to face Karol Rosa but that fight was scrapped after Rosa was hospitalized from complications that arose after her attempts to cut weight.

Amazingly, things could’ve been worse. Ray Rodriguez stepped in at the last moment to contest Brian Kelleher in a featherweight tilt. According to organizers, Kevin Natividad was dropped from the card due to coronavirus-related precautionary reasons.

Kelleher’s original opponent Ricky Simon also was forced to pull out of the fight after one of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19.

Eleven bouts on the UFC Vegas 5 card were also canceled. Three of them were lost from the fight card due to competitors testing positive for COVID-19.

White Making A Move

“Dana White durante entrevista coletiva do UFC Rio 25 8 11” by Nicson Olivier Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

UFC President and CEO Dana White is a massive Donald Trump supporter. The two go way back to the infancy of UFC, when Trump’s New Jersey-based casinos were among the few sites willing to stage live UFC cards.

White has videotaped messages stumping for the reelection of Trump to the U.S. Presidency in 2020. However, the raw truth is that the inaction of the Trump Administration during the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted White’s business so dramatically that it’s once again forcing him to take his show on the road.

White announced that the next fight UFC cards will return to the so-called Fight Island setting in Abu Dhabi. This will begin with the Sept. 27 UFC 253 event headlined by the match of unbeaten world middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (19-0) and unbeaten challenger Paulo Costa (13-0).

“We’re going to be at Fight Island,” White said in a statement he released through ESPN. “Abu Dhabi is going to end up being the fight capital of the world.

“A lot of the big fights that are international are going to be on Fight Island.”

In reality Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, four fight cards were staged there during the month of July without the issues the promotion is suffering through while housed at the UFC Apex.

Everyone involved must test negative for COVID-19 prior to embarking from the mainland to the island. Upon arrival, they’re not permitted to leave the island until the conclusion of the bouts.

Cancelations Impact UFC Vegas Odds

With so many last-minute changes and cancelations, these complications also dramatically impact the UFC betting odds at online sports betting sites.

Wagering on UFC is a big part of the attraction of the sport. White couldn’t allow these rampant cancelations to continue to impact the quality of the product he’s presenting to the betting public.

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