Musical Chairs

As the enormous shadow wrought by the hooliganism of UFC 229 slowly begins to disperse, the MMA community has this week been rocked by a fusillade of announcements regarding its next major pay-per-view showing at UFC 230. The event marks the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s tertiary showing at the storied Madison Square Garden arena in New York City, and the changes unveiled on Tuesday once again place the event at the center of much-maligned headliner pitting Antonina Shevchenko against Sijara Eubanks for the vacant 125-pound title is now off, with “The Bullet’” set to fight her original opponent in former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 in December, and “Sarj” being relegated to a prelim-rematch with cult favorite Roxanne Modafferi. The “People’s Main Event” in Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier has also been scrapped; an undisclosed injury to “The Diamond” named the culprit. A ray of sunshine accompanies the clouds in the news that heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will defend his title against No. 2-ranked Derrick Lewis, though the fact that “DC” will ostensibly be competing with a broken hand, and “The Black Beast” will enter the Octagon having absorbed 121 significant strikes four weeks earlier courtesy of Alexander Volkov, will likely give educated fans some pause before they rush out to pre-order the pay-per-view.

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