UFC 196 headliners Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez pulling out with injuries has left the promotion in a tough spot and led to the decision to take the card off of pay-per-view and move it to FOX Sports 1 instead.
Dana White confirmed the decision last night, revealing that the event’s original co-main event between Johny Hendricks and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson will now serve as the headliner for the FS1 show.
Rather than adding a fifth bout to the main card UFC 196 will now roll onto FS1 with a four-fight selection with Roy Nelson Vs Jared Rosholt in the co-main event spot alongside Rafael ‘Feijao’ Vs Ovince St. Preux and Joseph Benavidez Vs Zach Makovsky.
This is a decision that the UFC won’t have taken lightly as their pay-per-view events are a major source of revenue, but it appears to be the right move as coming up with a new must-see fight to front the show on just two weeks notice had proved to be too big a mountain to move and Hendricks Vs Thompson wouldn’t justify the $50-60 price tag on it’s own.
The UFC have being doing a very good job of stacking their fight cards of late, including March’s UFC 197’s show which is packed with must-see attractions, but unfortunately for them UFC 196 was a bit of a weaker link in comparison and so of all the cards that could have been jinxed by injury, this was the one that stood to suffer the most.
UFC 196 will be the first numbered UFC event to air on TV rather than PPV in over five years, with the last one being UFC 138: Leben Vs Munoz which took place in the UK.