Set to imminent from the Target Center in Minneapolis Minnesota the UFC on ESPN 3 card now has a new main event. Former Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley unexpectedly pulled out of the main event of the card against “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler due to an undisclosed hand injury last week. Now ESPN’s Brett Okamoto is reporting that Dana white and the UFC have decided to move up the big heavyweight fight of Francis Ngannou vs Junior dos Santos.
My take: It’s bothered me for years that UFC has diminished their product by having so many cards through out the year that it hurts when it comes to getting the casual fans attention. I get it though, the UFC is a business and the sell incredible well regardless of what town they are in. This partnership with ESPN is very new though, and for card that is gonna be televised instead of behind ESPN’s pay wall (ESPN+) I think this was a great addition!
The UFC doesn’t have a Superbowl every year or even a Wrestlemania, but every year they always delivery a huge card right around Fourth of July that has become their biggest event of the year. This year that event is UFC 239. Thats where this Ngannou, dos Santos fight was originally scheduled at.
The 239 card is still gonna be fine as it has the GOAT Jon Jones on it to main event , plus it has perhaps the most intriguing women’s fight that doesn’t feature Ronda Rousey in the promotions history. As Amanda Nunes defends the Bantamweight title against Holly Holm. Not to mention the card also features undefeated and polarizing star Ben Askren in his second UFC fight. Among a host of other great bouts and fighters.
Good move for them to add what I believe is the number one Heavyweight contedership fight of Ngannou and, dos Santos to a free televised card that can help get Casual fans excited for a future Heavyweight Title match up featuring one of these great fighters. I’ll give predictions on this bout as it draws closer at the end of June.