Fight fans were surprised to learn that heavyweight veteran Alistair Overeem was relegated to the FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” of the upcoming UFC 225 fight card, which opened up a pay-per-view (PPV) spot for hometown favorite and former pro wrestler Phil Brooks.
The 0-1 “CM Punk” was clowned in his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut back in 2016 and has competed just once since signing with UFC back in late 2014, earning his honorary doctorate from the Cain Velasquez School of Fight Frequency in the process.
Brooks, who turns 40 in October, can move the PPV needle much father than “The Reem,” according to promotion president Dana White, so it would make sense from a business perspective to have them trade places in the “Whittaker vs. Romero 2” line up.
“Listen, when Alistair Overeem sells as many pay-per-views as CM Punk does, we can argue,” White said at the UFC Liverpool post-fight press conference (watch it). “If that’s the way you want to look at him, being ‘demoted’, what is Rashad Evans? What is (Anthony) Pettis? There’s guys that could be on the main card that are on the Fight Pass prelims.”
See the finalized UFC 225 fight card and line up here.
Overeem (43-16, 1 NC) will battle rising heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes, while Brooks collides with warm-body-of-the-month Mike Jackson. The action takes place Sat., June 9, 2018 inside United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Let’s just hope this next chapter is not mis-told.