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Posted on October 20, 2011 by John Petit
UFC 137 has gone through many changes, I don’t think it even comes close to earning the term “Cursed card,” but the events leading up to UFC 137 are a series of unfortunate ones. Although we have changes big enough to change the spirit of the card, I think this is still going to turn out to be a great event. Here is a short time line, and then talk about whats left that we can look forward too.
I need to preface this all with the fact that this was an event that was originally scheduled to happen in Liverpool, England on October 15. Unfortunately, major broadcast issues prevented the event from taking shape in the UK. Rumors were that the UFC couldn’t lock up a time with U.S. schedules to make it happen, but I want to stress that is not confirmed.
On August 29, UFC 137 took its first hit. Sam Stout was originally supposed to face Denis Siver, but Stout ellected to step out of the competition. Stout asked the UFC for some personal time to deal with the loss of his coach Shawn Thompkins, as he and Thompkins were very close. The UFC obliged Stout, and Donald Cerrone agreed to step in and take the fight. Cerrone is fresh off a first round TKO win over Charles Oliviera on August 14,
On September 7, After failing to make several media appearances, Nick Diaz was removed from the main card at UFC 137. NIck has never been known as being one of the most loquacious fighters in MMA, but when he failed to get on three separate flights in order to attend media obligations, Dana White had had enough. White showed up, flanked with a surprised Georges St. Pierre, and said co-main event fighter Carlos Condit would step up and fight for the title. He said Diaz was being removed the card, and he would find something to do with B.J. Penn.
Twenty-four hours later, BJ Penn tweeted that Dana White called and offered him a fight he couldn’t turn down. We then learned that the new co-main event for the fight would be BJ Penn Vs. Nick Diaz. Diaz has since said he wasn’t really excited for the fight because he was friends and occasional training partners with Penn.
On October first, Tim Credeur pulled out of his fight with Brad Tavares, and it was announced Dustin Jacoby (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) would make his UFC debut in his place. No other information has surfaced about TIm Credeur and why he pulled out of the 137 fight with Tavares.
Wednesday October 19, GSP told a Canadian news site that he would be withdrawing from his UFC welterweight championship title defense against Carlos Condit. According to GSP, he hurt a ligament while training for the fight, but was still planning on fighting. Then while training, and basically over compensating for the injury, he suffered another lower leg injury. After the second injury, GSP said he knew the fight was to be cancelled. Later in the day it was announced that the BJ Penn/Nick Diaz fight would be moved to the Main Event.
The way its sounding now, the schedule will be juggled a little and the Brad Tavares vs Dustin Jacoby fight will be on the main card instead of the title fight. There is also some talk about BJ and Nick wanting to go five rounds. Ceasar Gracie was rumored to be saying that BJ didn’t want to fight a five rounder, but Penn released a statement saying that he was never contacted about a five round fight and is all for it as long as the UFC compensates him for the fight.
I still think this event has solid fights on it, and seeing Penn vs Diaz is one of those imaginary fights i remember setting up in my head-and I’m almost glad we had to wait this long to see it. Both fighters have continued to evolve, and its one of those fights that will have a zero percent chance of being boring. The card is scattered with compelling fights like Mitrione vs Kongo, Siver vs. Cerrone, and Curran vs Jorgenson to name a few. The bad news is that there is still 10 plus days until the fight, and things could change even more. I do think this card has a chance to still be a really good card for the UFC.