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Posted on July 26, 2012 by Jack Thurman
Injuries are always a part of sports and particularly combat sports like boxing and MMA. The UFC continues to be hit hard by the injury bug which has resulted to changes that could further undermine already lackluster fight cards. The UFC on Fox 4 card lost a heavyweight bout due to an injury to Ben Rothwell, while a fight between Yushin Okami and Rousimar Palhares at UFC 150 has been changed due to injury for the second time. Okami will now fight Buddy Roberts.
The UFC on Fox 4 card was already taking a storm of criticism due to a weak lineup headlined by a dismal bout pitting Brandon Vera against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. To suggest that Vera is a past his prime fighter suggests that he one was ‘in his prime’. He’s a fighter that could never elevate himself to even the status of top contender. The fact that he’s even involved with a main event underscores the desperate state of the UFC promotion. The reality is that the UFC is desperate to get Shogun a win so they an promote him as a ‘serious contender’ down the road. Rua is likely on the downside of his career and has never shown the excellence in the UFC that he did in Japan earlier in his career. The fact that he’s ranked as high as the #4 middleweight in the world demonstrates not only the dearth of high level talent in the weight class but also the willingness of the MMA media to further the UFC’s promotional goals.
Rothwell reportedly injured his ankle in training and will be replaced in his bout against Travis Browne by former Strikeforce heavyweight Devin Cole. Cole is a controversial choice for the bout due to his checkered personal life–he was once charged with rape and although he eventually copped a plea for a lesser charge is considered by many to be a poor representative of the sport. That notwithstanding, Cole is 35 years old and doesn’t have any wins against anyone approximating a top level heavyweight. It’s more of the same horrible matchmaking that has contributed to the UFC’s current downward spiral.
Buddy Roberts–not to be confused with pro wrestler Buddy Roberts who achieved fame as a member of the Fabulous Freebirds–will now fight Okami. He’s a good but not great fighter without much charisma or star power. UFC betting odds have yet to be posted for the newly scheduled fights.