After months of rumors about what the main event of UFC 230 would be, we finally have out answer, though the announcement of the headliner was also followed by news the co-main event is off. I’ll give me thoughts on the updated card in today’s MMA odds and ends.
UFC 230 Gets Cormier vs Lewis, But Diaz vz. Poirier and Shevchenko vs. Eubanks Off
After all the speculation, we finally have a main event for UFC 230. As reported in yesterday’s MMA odds and ends, the main event of UFC 230 will see UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier take on Derrick Lewis in what is a quick turnaround for “The Black Beast,” who just knocked out Alexander Volkov this past weekend at UFC 229. Cormier is also taking this fight on short notice which is a bit surprising considering he was supposed to fight Brock Lesnar in his next fight. Clearly, DC didn’t want to wait any longer to fight and the UFC must have made it worthwhile financially for him to take this bout against Lewis. While this might not have been anyone’s choice as the main event for UFC 230, it’s still a lot better than some of the alternatives that had been presented in recent weeks.
One of those alternatives was a flyweight bout for the vacant belt between Valentina Shevchenko and Sijara Eubanks. The UFC announced this fight last week, but apparently reversed its decision after universal fan outrage and criticism from the media. No one wanted to see this fight and the UFC made the right call by cancelling it and going back to the original fight between Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk for UFC 231. That will be the co-main event of that event, with the main event seeing UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway taking on Brian Ortega.
Unfortunately, one of the fights fans was looking forward to the most at UFC 230 is cancelled, as an injury to Dustin Poirier has led to the cancellation of his fight against Nate Diaz. This unfortunate news was first reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN. This was the fight everyone was looking forward to the most, so the fact it was scratched is very depressing as it had “Fight of the Year” potential. Fans and media had been asking the UFC to book this fight for five rounds as the main event but the promotion wasn’t having any of it. It turns out it was all for not as the fight isn’t even going to happen, and at this point, it doesn’t appear likely that Diaz will stay on the card. If I had to guess, the UFC will try to book Diaz vs. Conor McGregor, though that’s just speculation on my part.
After all the changes, UFC 230 and UFC 231 look better than they were a few days ago. Though Cormier vs. Lewis wasn’t anyone’s first choice, it’s at least a pretty good heavyweight fight, and at least the Shevchenko vs. Jedrzejczyk fight was restored. It’s just too bad Poirier vs. Diaz was scratched, but this is MMA and the worst case-scenarios often happen.