When the UFC moved the flyweight title bout between Henry Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw from UFC 233 to its ESPN/ESPN+ show in Brooklyn, it left UFC 233 in need of a new main event. With a lack of suitable options to top that January 26th card in Anaheim, California, the promotion has decided to cancel UFC 233 altogether.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto first reported the news on Wednesday, and the UFC has since released an official statement.
“UFC today announced that the UFC 233 Pay-Per-View event scheduled for January 26 is postponed.
All bouts previously slated for UFC 233 are being rescheduled for upcoming cards. The February 10th Pay-Per-View event at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Australia will remain titled UFC 234: WHITTAKER VS GASTELUM. Tickets for UFC 234 sold out within minutes.
UFC’s 2019 event calendar will still feature 12 Pay-Per-View events. Additional details about the postponed Pay-Per-View will be announced at a later date.”
UFC 233 will go into the same graveyard as UFC 151 and 176 in terms of cancelled pay-per-view events. So instead of renumbering UFC 234 in Australia as UFC 233, we’re skipping from UFC 232 to 234 when 2019 arrives.
Cejudo vs. Dillashaw was moved to the January 19th card in Brooklyn because the UFC was struggling to find a main event for that show, so not exactly a smooth start to 2019 as the ESPN era nears. Joanne Calderwood vs. Arlene Lipski had already shifted from UFC 233 to UFC Brooklyn prior to the event cancellation.
As for the other fights, these are the ones that will need rescheduling:
Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler
Joseph Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
John Lineker vs. TBA
Francisco Trinaldo vs. TBA
Paul Felder vs. James Vick
Yana Kunitskaya vs. Marion Reneau
Alexandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Cortney Casey
Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
In the bigger picture, UFC 233 being off means that Bellator 214: Fedor vs. Bader will have the night of MMA all to itself. That card is set to happen at The Forum in Inglewood, not too far away from the Honda Center. Bellator president Scott Coker had one GIF as his reaction to the news.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) December 12, 2018
This is somewhat a case of history repeating itself. In 2017, UFC 208 was supposed to happen in Anaheim on the same night as Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen, which was also at The Forum in Inglewood. A lack of a suitable main event led to the UFC scrapping the date, renumbering the February Brooklyn PPV from UFC 209 to 208.
UFC 233’s cancellation also means that the UFC will be reduced to only ten events through a span of eleven weeks, as opposed to eleven events.
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