The Fighting Gods must be highly ticked off at Philadelphia. The UFC just can not cut a break when it comes to these fights for UFC 133. So far 8 scheduled bouts have been cancelled and/or changed for UFC’s return to the “City of Brotherly Love”. Add two more to that list. For the ridiculous, 3rd time in a row the bout between Middleweight UFC veterans Jorge Rivera and Alessio Sakara has been cancelled. Sakara recently pulled out of the bout citing a shoulder injury during training.
The first of the 3 doomed bouts between Sakara and Rivera was scheduled back in August of 2010 at UFC 118. Rivera had to pull out of the fight due to a broken arm. The second try at the bout was scheduled to be the co-main event for UFC 122 in November, 3 months later. Unfortunately, Sakara had to pull out literally the day of the fight due to flu-like symptoms. Rivera went on to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 127, a bout which he lost via TKO in the 2nd Round. Sakara went on to fight Chris Weidman at UFC Live 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann, but also lost his bout, losing by Unanimous Decision. This set up a good chance for a third shot at the bout between these two men, but it just wasn’t in the playing cards as Sakara, again had to pull out.
Fortunately, the UFC was able to find a replacement in time for the event. Already fighting on the card, Costantinos Philipou (originally supposed to be facing Rafael Natal) stepped in to replace Sakara. Natal, who already has had his opponent change once, will have a new opponent again facing Middleweight Paul Bradley. There will still be 11 fights on the UFC 133 fight card. Here is a recap of all the events leading up to the final UFC 133 fight card:
Rumored Light Heavyweight Title fight between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans is scrapped due to Jon Jones’s hand injury.
Nick Pace was scheduled to face Michael MacDonald, but MacDonald was pulled to replace Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto at UFC 130. Ivan Menjivar steps in to replace MacDonald.
Rumored Featherweight Title fight between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes is scrapped due to Jose Aldo injuries. Mendes stayed on card and will face Rani Yahya.
Riki Fukuda was scheduled to face Rafael Natal, but Fukuda was pulled due to injuries from a car accident. Natal’s new opponent was announced to be Costantinos Philipou.
Phil Davis was scheduled to face Rashad Evans, but Davis was pulled due to a knee injury. Tito Ortiz declines the fight, Lyoto Machida agrees to replace Davis.
Lyoto Machida demands “Anderson Silva money” to replace Phil Davis for the fight, the UFC declines, Machida pulls out of the fight. Tito Ortiz changes his mind and takes the fight.
Vladimir Matyushenko was scheduled to face Alexander Gustafsson, but Matyushenko was pulled due to an injury. Matt Hamill steps in to replace Matyushenko.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was scheduled to face Rich Franklin, but Nogueira was pulled due to a shoulder injury. Rich Franklin was offered Alexander Gustafsson but declined, resulting in the fight being cancelled.
Alessio Sakara was scheduled to face Jorge Rivera (for the 3rd time), but Sakara had to pull out of the fight due to a knee injury. Costantinos Philipou stepped in as Sakara’s replacement. Rafael Natal’s new opponent is Paul Bradley.
Here is the new and hopefully final fight card list for UFC 133:
Light Heavyweight bout – Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz
Middleweight bout – Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Welterweight bout – Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole
Middleweight bout – Jorge Rivera vs. Costantinos Philipou
Welterweight bout – Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle
SPIKE TV PRELIMINARY BOUTS
Light Heavyweight bout – Matt Hamill vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Featherweight bout – Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya
FACEBOOK PRELIMINARY BOUTS
Bantamweight bout – Ivan Menjivar vs. Nick Pace
Welterweight bout – Johny Hendricks vs. Mike Pierce
Featherweight bout – Mike Brown vs. Nam Phan
Middleweight bout – Rafael Natal vs. Paul Bradley