If it wasn’t for bad luck, Strikeforce’s upcoming “Carano vs. Cyborg” card wouldn’t have any luck at all. Despite the best intentions, some MMA events are destined to be magnets for injuries, unwelcome surprises, and other bizarre occurrences. But which events have been screwed by fate the hardest? Knock on wood, grab your crotch, and read on…
#10: UFC 67: All Or Nothing, 2/3/07
The aptly-titled “All or Nothing” event was the first UFC pay-per-view in nearly a year to lack a title fight by the time it finally took place. That’s all the more disappointing when you consider that it had two a couple months out from the event, pitting TUF “Comeback” winners Matt Serra and Travis Lutter against the champions in their respective weight classes.
The first title fight went down the drain when Georges St. Pierre injured his knee during training and had to put off the fight with Serra (and we all remember how that went when it finally happened). Fortunately they still had Anderson Silva vs. Travis Lutter to fall back on…right? Only Lutter failed to make weight for his title shot, downgrading his “Rocky” storyline to a “Bad News Bears” one. Instead they just had themselves a normal old three-rounder, with Lutter holding his own in the first round before getting triangled/elbowed to death in the second. What fun.
#9: UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida, 5/23/09
The event that famously launched “the Machida Era” only included Lyoto as a last resort. Originally, the card was to be headlined by the heavyweight title scrap between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, until Mir informed the UFC that he was still recovering from knee surgery. The main event was then changed to a light-heavyweight title fight between Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, but Jackson — who had just gone the distance with Keith Jardine two months earlier — bowed out due to lingering hand and jaw injuries. And so, the UFC decided to give a well-deserved light-heavyweight title shot to that weird Brazilian guy with the unibrow.
If you’re Rashad Evans, that would be enough to make this one of the unluckiest fight cards ever. But UFC 98’s string of setbacks extended to the supporting cast as well. Josh Koscheck pulled out of the event due to a broken toe and was replaced by Brock Larson; Koscheck’s scheduled opponent, Chris Wilson, missed the show because of incomplete paperwork. James “Born Under a Bad Sign” Irvin suffered one of his many knee injuries and was replaced by Xavier Foupa-Pokam. Yushin Okami also went down with a dodgy knee and was replaced by Chael Sonnen. And finally, hard-luck-case Houston Alexander broke his hand during training and was replaced by Krzysztof Soszynski. Later, it was discovered that the MGM Grand Garden Arena had been built on an Indian burial ground.