The UFC will have to find new bouts to serve as the main and co-main events of the upcoming UFC Chile event.
It was revealed in a report by Combate that the two headliners have been scrapped. Let’s break it down.
Santiago Ponzinibbio has been forced to withdraw from his headlining bout against Kamaru Usman due to a hand injury. Usman has won all seven of his bouts in the UFC while Ponzinibbio is 8-2 inside the Octagon and has picked up six straight wins.
“They’re working (on finding a replacement),” Usman told Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting. “But I won’t fight if it’s not a ranked opponent.”
Former title contender Volkan Oezdemir was slated to fight former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua in the co-main event of this show.
However, that fight won’t happen as Oezdemir’s ongoing legal situation in Florida will not allow him to leave the country and this fight will have to be scheduled for a later date.
Oezdemir had to surrender his passport as part of a third-degree felony battery charge due to an alleged incident in Florida.
Rua has been on the sidelines for over a year now. He was last seen in the Octagon when he picked up TKO of Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night 106 in March 2017. This win marked his third straight victory, which is the longest winning of his UFC career.
If you recall, he was supposed to rematch Ovince Saint Preux at UFC Fight Night 117 in September. However, that wasn’t meant to be as he was forced to withdraw from the contest due to a knee injury.
On the flip side, Oezdemir is looking to get back in the win column and on track to another title shot as he suffered a second-round TKO loss against Daniel Cormier at UFC 220 in January.
UFC Chile is set to take place on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile.
The main card will air on FOX Sports 1 at while the preliminary card will be split broadcasted on FOX Sports 1 at and the promotion’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass. Here is how the current card looks:
Kamaru Usman vs. TBD
Andrea Lee vs. Veronica Macedo
Chad Laprise vs. Vicente Luque
Alexa Grasso vs. Tatiana Suarez
Guido Cannetti vs. Diego Rivas
Poliana Botelho vs. Syuri Kondo
Humberto Bandenay vs. Gabriel Benitez
Zak Cummings vs. Michel Prazeres
Henry Briones vs. Frankie Saenz
Jared Cannonier vs. Dominick Reyes
Claudio Puelles vs. Felipe Silva
Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno
Enrique Barzola vs. Brandon Davis