UFC’s schedule for the rest of 2017 has been leaked and it includes the promotion making room for one big boxing fight while going head-to-head with another.
Combate obtained the schedule, citing sources close to the company. Perhaps most notable of the upcoming schedule is the removal of an Aug. 19 date that was tentatively scheduled to be UFC 215 from Seattle. Demetrious Johnson was rumored to be set to headline the show before he engaged in a public dispute with UFC. Now with Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fighting one week later on Aug. 26, UFC has quietly opted to scrap plans for an August pay-per-view in order to avoid what would likely be a show destined to fail at the box office.
UFC 216, which was previously announced for Sept. 9 from Edmonton, will now be UFC 215. That show is still without a main event.
So while Mayweather-McGregor will go uncontested, September’s Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez fight will go head-to-head against a UFC televised card from a U.S. city to be determined. UFC has run Fox shows on the same night as big boxing events in the past, but those would finish before the boxing main event would begin, so they acted as more of a lead-in than competition. In recent years, UFC has avoided Saturday night shows on May and September weekends when big boxing fights traditionally take place. If the Sept. 16 UFC event is on Fox Sports 1, the main card will go head-to-head with the GGG-Canelo pay-per-view.
Other notable dates include a Nov. 4 UFC 217 event from New York City, and two pay-per-views in December – UFC 218 from Detroit on Dec. 2 and UFC 219 on December 30 from Las Vegas. The New York City show is most likely to feature Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre and, if Dana White is to be believed that Conor McGregor will fight before year’s end, Dec. 30 from Vegas would be the time and place.
If no shows are added to the schedule, it would make for 38 UFC events in 2017 down from 41 in 2016.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: It made all the sense in the world to drop the August 19 show. A week before Mayweather-McGregor, no one is going to have any interest in a marginal UFC pay-per-view so they did the right thing in leaving August open. Even still, the Sept. 9 pay-per-view from Edmonton is going to suffer coming two weeks after Mayweather-McGregor and a week before GGG-Canelo. 38 shows are still too many but as long as UFC can pull decent ratings and there are networks looking for content, this will be the norm.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Matt Hughes’s sister, Beth Hughes Ulrici posted a statement to her Facebook account saying that her brother “is improving and continues to show us his heart and determination each day. He has a long road ahead of him and your continued thoughts and prayers will help him with the journey.”
-Felice Herrig told TMZ Sports that she knew Justine Kish had an “accident” during their fight Sunday night. “I did know,” Herrig said. “This is really hard. I really like Justine. Justine and I were cool. We’re friends and I feel like if I was in this position I wouldn’t want people talking about it and making fun of me. MMA fans are relentless and if that happened to me I honestly wouldn’t want to show my face ever again. I probably wouldn’t want to fight ever again.”
-Derrick Lewis told “The MMA Hour” yesterday that he does not plan to retire after all and that he would like to fight Francis Ngannou later this year. He announced his “retirement” right after his last fight in an unforeseen surprise.
-Michael Chandler also appeared on “The MMA Hour” and said that his foot is not broken following his doctor’s stoppage loss at Bellator NYC on Saturday. “Nothing’s broken,” he said. “I went straight to the ER, the doctors at Bellevue ER, I got in, they X-rayed it, nothing broken. It’s a good thing. I could be just getting out of surgery right now with a rod in my leg. Luckily, I’m not.”
-Bellator 180 on Saturday night averaged 901,000 viewers for the Spike TV-CMT simulcast.
-Sunday’s UFC Fight Night headlined by Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Lee averaged 819,000 viewers on FS1. The prelims on FS2 averaged 319,000 viewers.
-Patricky Freire vs. Ben Henderson and Roy Nelson vs. Javy Ayala will be the top two fights at Bellator 183 on Sept. 23 from San Jose.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 6/26: Another UFC event, another controversy, as Chiesa vs. Lee ends with disputed finish (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)