I’ve had it with these motherfucking injuries on these motherfucking UFC cards. But the pain is much more bearable when they result in even better fights, like when Jose Aldo vs Erik Koch at UFC 153 was scrapped and replaced with Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar. The fight almost wasn’t, though. Instead, Ricardo Lamas (the guy who made Hatsu Hioki regret turning down a title shot) was lined up as the completely logical but also completely uninteresting replacement:
“They [UFC] had called me first on Thursday,” Lamas stated. “They had called me up at about 3:30 p.m. Central time and said, ‘Obviously Koch is injured and we need to know tonight if you want to take this fight with Aldo? We think you deserve it and we need to redo your contract. We need to get it all done by tonight.'”
‘We said ‘Yes, yes, yes,'” Lamas stated. “We got my contract figured out and was just waiting on a bout agreement. Then they [the UFC] called at 9 p.m. Central and said they decided to in a different direction with the fight and that’s when they decided to go with Frankie.”
Sounds like the kind of fight Sean Shelby was pulling together before Lorenzo and Dana decided they wanted the nuclear option for this replacement. This isn’t the first time they’ve stepped in to improve matchmaking. They also interceded when Tim Sylvia almost made it back into Zuffa via a Strikeforce fight with Daniel Cormier. Zuffa brass went thumbs down and instead sorted out a deal where Frank Mir crossed the inter-dimensional rift between promotions to fight the SFHWGP winner.
Long story short, I think I like it when the higher ups interfere. Sure, their wild thrashing for bankable fights sometimes results in nonsensical stuff like Jon Jones vs Vitor Belfort, but it’s still more compelling than whatever barely promoted unknown fighters Sean Shelby and Joe Silva are stuck trying to fill the gaps in with now.