June 18, 2012
Calgary UFC fans dumping ducats
By DAVE DORMER, QMI Agency
CALGARY - And then there were none.
The entire original main card announced for UFC 149 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on July 21 has now changed after Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira withdrew this weekend from his heavyweight tilt against Cheick Kongo, citing an arm injury.
Fans took to Twitter and Facebook to express their frustration Sunday, with several calling for the card to be scrapped altogether, while others flooded online classified sites with tickets to unload.
“I’m pretty irritated,” said Chris Gschwendtner, who spent $150 for a seat in the upper deck.
“We lost another one, what are we going to do now? There's maybe two names we know of on this card out of 10 fighters in the main events.”
Nogueira had his right arm snapped by Frank Mir in the co-main event of UFC 140 in December, after he refused to tap to a Kimura lock.
Doctors had to insert a titanium plate and 16 screws.
Kongo, (6-foot-4 and 234 lb. with a 17-7-2 record) will now face Shawn Jordan, (6-feet and 245 lbs. with a 13-3-0 record) who made his UFC debut March 3 when he stopped Oli Thompson in the second round.
The main event in Calgary will now see Urijah Faber face Renan Barao for the interim bantamweight title after champion Dominick Cruz — who was supposed to defend his belt against Faber at UFC 148 — went down with a knee injury.
The original main event between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Erik Koch was scrapped after Aldo suffered an injury.
Former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard will now face Tim Boetsch in a replacement bout.
Other big name fighters taken off the UFC 149 card due to injury include Michael Bisping, Thiago Silva and Thiago Alves.
“It is what it is, I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier,” said Danny Legresley on the Nogueira announcement.
With a pair of floor level seats, Legresley said he wasn’t interested in seeing the latest lineup and put his tickets up for sale on Kijiji.
“This card just doesn’t do anything for me,” he said.
“The only person worth seeing now is Hector Lombard.”
UFC spokesman Steve Keogh defended the card changes, saying injuries are a part of the sport and top level talent will still be competing.
“I understand where (the fans) are coming from but at the same time, when you’re looking at some of these names ... Hector Lombard, he’s been a longtime middleweight champion for Bellator,” Keogh said.
“It’s said he could be the next Anderson Silva and dethrone Anderson Silva.
“Renan Barao, this guy has the meanest streak going in mixed martial arts — he hasn’t been beat since 2005.
“Yes some of these names aren’t as well known, but at the same time we are more than confident they will deliver.”
Keogh said one more fight will be announced for UFC 149 to replace the Mauricio “Shogun” Rua versus Thiago Silva match that was scrapped after Silva suffered an injury.
UFC149 current main event card:
Urijah Faber 26-5-0 vs. Renan Barao 30-1-0-1NC for the interim bantamweight title
Hector Lombard 31-2-1 vs. Tim Boetsch 15-4-0
Cheick Kongo 17-7-2 vs. Shawn Jordan 13-3-0
Siyar Bahadurzada 21-4-1 vs. Chris Clements 11-4-0
One more fight has yet to be announced