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UFC 184 Strikes Out At The Plate After Injuries, Issues

vitor belfort

The use of illegal drugs and performance-enhancers will continue to dominate headlines as we move forward in 2015.

But for one weekend, that all could have been set to the side if only things had stayed as planned.

UFC 184 will go down next Saturday night from Staples Center in Los Angeles with a very intriguing main event between female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and unbeaten No. 1 contender Cat Zingano.

We’ll also be treated to the Octagon debut of Holly Holm, as she takes on Raquel Pennington, along with interesting bouts featuring Jake Ellenberger, Josh Koscheck, Alan Jouban and Tony Ferguson.

The problem is, those names are not the ones who were expected to fit the billboard in Hollywood.

Originally, Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort were the planned main event for the night, with Weidman defending his middleweight title. That fell through when the champion went down with an injury, and Belfort declined a proposed fight with either Lyoto Machida or Gegard Mousasi.

Strike one.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Yoel Romero were all locked in for a potential No. 1 contender match to the winner of Weidman-Belfort, but Souza was forced out with pneumonia. That contest has been re-booked, but it would have been a perfect lead-up to the pair of title fights.

Strike two.

Former heavyweight champion Frank Mir and one-time title contender Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva were moved to this weekend and UFC Fight Night 61 after an injury to Rashad Evans cancelled his fight with Glover Teixeira. While not a match with major title implications, Mir and Silva carry big names with them.

Strike three.

Heck, even planned fights like Neil Magny-Josh Koscheck and Mark Munoz-Caio Magalhaes looked much better on paper than what we were left with.

The UFC’s hand has been forced when it comes to dealing with injuries and illness to fighters, but add in the serious suspensions facing those that take PEDs and other banned substances, and matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby are in for a long year.

Had nothing gone wrong – which never happens in this sport – we could have had a card like this:


UFC Middleweight Championship
Chris Weidman (c) vs. Vitor Belfort

UFC Female Bantamweight Championship
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Cat Zingano

Middleweight: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Yoel Romero

Heavyweight: Frank Mir vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva

Female Bantamweight: Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington


Welterweight: Neil Magny vs. Josh Koscheck

Middleweight: Mark Munoz vs. Caio Magalhaes

Lightweight: Tony Ferguson vs. Yancy Medeiros

Welterweight: Alan Jouban vs. Richard Walsh

Instead, here’s what the lineup looks like:

MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)

UFC Female Bantamweight Championship
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Cat Zingano

Female Bantamweight: Raquel Pennington vs. Holly Holm

Welterweight: Josh Koscheck vs. Jake Ellenberger

Welterweight: Richard Walsh vs. Alan Jouban

Lightweight: Tony Ferguson vs. Gleison Tibau


Middleweight: Mark Munoz vs. Roan Carneiro

Bantamweight: Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Roman Salazar

Welterweight: Tim Means vs. Dhiego Lima

Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis vs. Ruan Potts


Lightweight: James Krause vs. Valmir Lazaro

Featherweight: Masio Fullen vs. Alexander Torres