Did you hear the one about the UFC event that fell apart due to injury? The main event was lost, a new fight promoted, then that one was lost too? It was added to the scrap heap next to UFC 151 and UFC 176.

Only wait, no, you haven’t. We would be talking about UFC Fight Night 76, but we’re not. Because it wasn’t cancelled – and will go forward, with the simply unbelievable main event of Paddy Holohan vs. Louis Smolka. This despite there being an absolute lack of star power on the card.

There are numerous reasons the event wasn’t cancelled: a strong crowd expected in Dublin, T.V. deals (the event will air on the Fight Network, Sentanta, 3E, and for free on Fight Pass for fans in Ireland), and the fact that cancelling a Fight Pass event, with so few of them, immediately devalues the service.

Of course, injuries are hard to avoid. Which brings us to contingency plans. And why the UFC isn’t using them.

Things were bad when Stipe Miocic pulled out of his main event tilt with Ben Rothwell. After Andrei Arlovski’s camp talked him out of stepping in as a replacement, that fight was pulled. Things went from bad to worse when Joe Duffy pulled out of his new co-main event slot against Dustin Poirier just days prior to the event, and Poirier turned down a replacement fight with Norman Parke, saying he wanted to wait for Duffy.

That close to fight night, the UFC had little choice but to move forward — but it’s nearly unbelievable that they weren’t better prepared, given this has happened before.

Simply put, there are  a couple of ways to deal with this. One, you pay a couple of guys show money to be at the ready per event in case of an injury to the headliner. Enough to cover a camp. Plenty of fighters would jump at the idea. Potential opponents should know who these fighters are, but the general public needn’t.

A more controversial suggestion would be modifying contracts to say that a suitable replacement fighter would be considered a breach — but that would take power, and preparation, away from fighters. An iffy suggestion admittedly.

Still, the event going down Saturday from Ireland is not what Irish fans paid for, and that’s just a shame. Especially when the UFC is trying to entrench itself in Irish culture.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.