This list would have included the likes of T.J. Dillashaw, Renan Barao, Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard at one point.
Instead, the UFC 186 lineup was completely re-worked following injuries, other changes and even court issues.
What are we left with? Well, a title fight, a pair of solid middleweights, the Octagon debut of a former pro hockey player and three key fights you simply cannot miss this Saturday night.
Everything goes down inside the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with the main card airing on pay-per-view after prelim bouts on both FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
As always, FightLine will have complete coverage of all the action, including live and free play-by-play. We will also have slideshow predictions for each fight Friday on the site and all of the news that comes out post-fight from the night.
Here’s a look at those three key fights:
Demetrious Johnson vs. Kyoji Horiguchi for the UFC flyweight title
Say what you want about “Mighty Mouse” being a “smaller” fighter, but Demetrious Johnson brings it like no other champion outside of Ronda Rousey.
Since winning the belt in 2012 with a split decision victory over Joseph Benavidez, DJ has stopped Chris Cariaso, Benavidez and John Moraga, also picking up wins vs. Ali Bagautinov and John Dodson.
He’s literally wiped out the top contenders at 125 pounds, and done so in rather impressive fashion.
For Kyoji Horiguchi, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. Yes, he’s on a nine-fight win streak that includes four Octagon wins, but stepping up to meet the champion will be his biggest test to date.
The 24-year-old has shown a knack for the finish, stopping Jon Delos Reyes in the first round and Dustin Pague in the second in his Octagon debut.