It appears that the UFC 153 event is disintegrating before our very eyes. Just an hour after Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson withdrew from the co-main event, now Jose Aldo has pulled out of the headliner with Frankie Edgar.
“Now Aldo is out with foot injury,” an exasperated Dana White posted on Twitter. “Main and co main in the same day!! Another amazing day at the UFC. We have some work to do.”
Last weekend it was reported that Aldo had injured his foot during a motorbike accident, but his camp had claimed he would be fit in time for the fight in October, but unfortunately it turns out that was an overly-optimistic assessment.
This is the second time that the UFC 153 has had to be changed as Aldo was originally scheduled to face Erik Koch before he withdrew due to injury. They quickly shipped in Edgar as a replacement which actually strengthened the card, but now they are back to square one.
This is the last thing the UFC needed only weeks removed from UFC 151 being abandoned completely.
Lets also not forget that the last time the company came to Brazil for UFC 147 things also got messy, with Silva Vs Sonnen being moved to a different card and a hastily arranged Rich Franklin Vs Wanderlei Silva headliner being installed instead alongside a relatively weak fight card overall.
So it appeared that this time they really wanted to return to the region with an impressive event, but as White says they really do have their work cut out for them now.
Edgar’s coming off a loss to Ben Henderson, so without Aldo on-board and the title on the line he’s not an ideal headliner for the Rio show, especially at 145lbs where there’s few big names out there for him to face. Perhaps Edgar Vs Chad Mendes is as good as they could come up with right now if they do go down that route, but it’s not ideal.
Therefore, if Aldo’s not too badly injured and can come back to full fitness in the next couple of months I wonder if they’ll just pull Edgar from the card entirely and look to rearrange that eagerly awaited title bout before the end of the year.
The only way that will work however is if they can come up with a strong alternative for the main event, and with Glover Teixeira now without an opponent due to ‘Rampage’ withdrawing, if they could find a big-name light-heavyweight to go up against him that could be their best option.
We’re still a month out from the fight so it’s possible, but would they be able to convince the likes of a Lyoto Machida or perhaps even Chael Sonnen to take the bout at short notice?
It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of a solution they come up, but for now I’m just disappointed that what was shaping up to be a very well rounded main card has imploded in such a short space of time.