If you pride yourself on staying on top of all the biggest MMA fights, you know that 2018 has been a tough year to keep track of. It seems that every major Ultimate Fighting Championship announcement — whether it’s a title fight anchoring a Las Vegas pay-per-view, or a fight night headliner in some nondescript corner of Asia — is immediately followed by an addendum with a list of changes. A main event is cancelled or re-arranged due to injury, a weight cutting mishap, public demand, or all of the above; showcase fights are re-distributed to accommodate the latest casualty; and cards that looked fantastic on paper are unrecognizable by fight week. A sign that this trend will continue unabated in 2019 is that the year’s first pay-per-view, UFC 233, originally scheduled for Jan. 26 in Anaheim, California, has already been postponed for want of a worthy headliner.
Given the UFC’s determination to put on a fight card almost every week — there are over 40 shows planned for 2019 — shape-shifting is more or less a part of the devil’s pact they’ve signed. Considering the precarious nature of unarmed combat, and the added risks associated with extreme weight cutting which no one seems prepared to do anything about, the UFC’s event calendar has basically codified a state of permanent flux, with a few emboldened fighters willing to play their hand only making the organization’s job harder.
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