Tonight (Oct. 29, 2011), UFC 137 will invade Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event was originally slated to be a massive card, headlined by a "unification bout" (of sorts) between UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre and Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz.
It was going to be epic. St. Pierre was said to be facing one of the biggest tests of his career. But before fans could "rush" out and place their wagers on the fight, Diaz, staying true to form, missed an important press conference, ticked off his new boss, Dana White, and was pulled from the main event.
We were left with a new main event between "GSP" and former WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit, who had previously occupied the co-main event slot opposite B.J. Penn. That left "The Prodigy" out in the cold, of course, until White made him an offer he couldn't refuse, setting him up in a new fight with Diaz, the former co-star of the original main event.
Head spinning yet? Well, hold on, it gets better (or worse, depending on your perspective).
Shortly after the new fight card was announced and finalized, St. Pierre suffered a sprained knee in training. The injury forced him to withdraw, which subsequently forced Condit to do the same, leaving Penn vs. Diaz as the new main event.
If you're a fan of "musical chairs," have we got the pay-per-view event for you.
In addition to the aforementioned changes to UFC 137, we've also witnessed the following occur:
- Sam Stout decided to pull out of his fight with Denis Siver to take some time to mourn the loss of his trainer, brother-in-law and close personal friend, Shawn Tompkins. Donald Cerrone decided to "Cowboy Up" and take his spot, thus adding some new repercussions to the lightweight division, in general.
- The loss of the Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit fight and the promotion of the Nick Diaz vs. B.J. Penn to "main event" status caused the Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione bout to be moved up to the "co-main event" slot.
- Brad Tavares suffered an injury which forced him off the event and his opponent, Dustin Jacoby, off the main card. (It was later announced that Jacoby would be taking on Clifford Starks in one of the Facebook preliminary fights.)
- Due to the Tavares injury, the Scott Jorgensen vs. Jeff Curran fight was bumped up from its previous Spike TV preliminary fight spot to the pay-per-view main card.
This new card barely resembles the original lineup. Clear comparisons could be drawn between this card and the UFC 108 card on Jan. 2, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada (which featured a total of nine fights that had been pulled from the card or modified in some way). UFC fans are certainly hoping for better results this go-round.
Different doesn't always mean worse. UFC 137 is still set to showcase a multitude of potentially very exciting fights. By all rights, this event could shape up to be full of fireworks.
One can only hope.