Fertitta: Rio possible for Aldo vs. Mendez or an interim title
ZUFFA CEO Lorenzo Fertitta appeared on FOX Sports Live to discuss the cancellation of UFC 176, and what comes next.
Fertitta said that the Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes main event may get moved to a PPV card scheduled for October 27 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or earlier the same month. Further, Fertitta said if Aldo is not ready by October, and interim title fight could be planned.
“You know, it was a very difficult decision to make,” explained Fertittal. “And part of the reason we decided to postpone it is because Jose Aldo's injury is a neck/shoulder injury, which, he's saying he's not going to be able to train for only three weeks.
“So it was a situation where certainly he wouldn't be ready for August 2nd, but at the same time, he's not going to be out for very long. So it's going to allow us to essentially postpone this, and reschedule this event for sometime in the early to mid fall, probably in October.
“We just felt like that made the most sense. In addition to that, obviously on pay-per-view events, there is typically a championship bout on the card. And quite frankly right now, there is nobody that could turn around quick enough to be able to fill the August 2nd slot.”
“We don't have a definitive date yet. We do have a date set for a PPV on October 27th, but we haven't decided whether Jose would fall on that date or not.”
“Right now we have a date scheduled in Rio de Janeiro for October 27th. And we're looking at a couple of other location for earlier in October as well.”
“UFC 176 will probably become a question on Jeopardy at some point, as the event that never happened… The balance of the fight card will be dispersed among the various fight cards we have coming up on FOX Sports 1 and or FOX. We're going to try to get them fights as quickly as we can because obviously we want to keep them busy and keep them active.”
Fertitta was asked if Aldo was not available, who would they put on the card?
“That's a great question,” he replied. “We've got some other great contenders in Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson, that certainly could step up and vie for some type of an interim title. We're going to know more in about two weeks.
“Aldo was told by his doctors to not do anything for three weeks. We're about one week into that. We're going to regroup in two weeks, and if Aldo is not going to be ready to go by October, then we're going to have to sit down, and see if we can do an interim title. And if that's the case, like I said before, the good thing is that we have a lot of really, really good contenders in that weight class that could challenge Chad Mendes for an interim title.”
The hardcore fanbase has maintained for some time that there are too many fights, and Fertitta was asked if he thought this was a sign of that.
“You know what, I don't think so,” he replied. “I think sometimes these come and go in and kind of ebb and flow. Last year we went through the entire year and I don’t think we had to replace one card. This year, unfortunately, this happened.
“Overall, at the end of the day, we have all of these guys coming back. The Fall for us – the lineup in the fall – is going to be pretty strong, as all of our champions are coming back, and we've got some loaded cards on FOX Sports 1. So we're excited about moving forward from here.”