Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler has suffered a broken thumb which has forced his next title fight against Carlos Condit off the headline spot at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia on November 14th, but the promotion are still going to be bringing a major title fight down under instead.
Stepping in to replace the fight will be Ronda Rousey’s next featherweight title defense against Holly Holm which had originally been scheduled to headline UFC 195 on January 2nd.
On one hand, in terms of fight quality Lawler Vs Condit is undoubtedly the better match-up and could have proven to be a barnburner. On the other hand there’s absolutely no doubt that hands down Rousey is light years ahead of them in terms of star power and so it’s fitting that she is now going to be headlining a show that’s scheduled to take place at the massive Etihad stadium in Melbourne.
The UFC’s plan to break their current attendance record at UFC 193 by filling the stadium with 70,000 fans had originally sounded somewhat ambitious, but with the media frenzy that Rousey is likely to generate in Australia, not to mention the rest of the world as we saw in her last outing at UFC 190 in Brazil, it now feels like a much more reasonable goal.
“Australia’s an important market for us, so we’re going to bring [Rousey] out there in our first real big stadium show, and we know she’ll break the record out there,” UFC president Dana White said.
Joining Rousey Vs Holm on the card will be a heavyweight rematch between Antonio Silva and Mark Hunt, Michael Bisping taking on Robert Whittaker and Stefan Struve Vs Jake Rosholt.
At this stage there’s no indication as to whether Lawler may be healed up in time to face Condit at UFC 195 instead, but there’s no doubt that would be the ideal solution.