The UFC yesterday revealed the bout order for the upcoming UFC 175 pay-per-view card, and one fight has surprisingly been snubbed from the PPV and relegated to the prelims. UFC 175 will be headlined by a five-round title bout between UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and challenger Lyoto Machida and the co-main event will feature a five-round title bout between UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and top contender Alexis Davis. As well, a heavyweight bout between Stefan Struve and Matt Mitrione takes place on the main card, as does a middleweight fight between Uriah Hall and Thiago Santos. And finally, in what can only be described as a curious move, the UFC has decided that a bantamweight tilt between Marcus Brimage and Russell Doane will open up the main PPV card. With that five-fight lineup set, one important bout has been relegated to the prelims, and it’s a three-round bantamweight bout between the popular Urijah Faber and the emerging Alex Caceres. This is a fight that most figured would for sure be part of the main card, but for whatever reason the UFC decided it makes more sense to put it on the prelims of what is the biggest card of the year to date. On one hand, I understand the UFC wants a high-caliber fight as the lead-in to the PPV, especially with recent buyrates for UFC 173 and UFC 174 being extremely poor. And of course Faber, who is one of the few stars the UFC has left, fits that bill. This fight with Caceres is guaranteed to be exciting, so for people on the fence about ordering the PPV, a great fight between Faber and Caceres could swing them in that favor. As well, FOX could have asked the UFC for a big fight for the preliminary card on FS1, and of course Faber vs. Caceres qualifies for that. On the other hand, though, this is a huge slap in the face to Faber, who is one of the most popular fighters in the promotion and who has never been on the prelims before. Sure, he’s coming off a TKO loss to Renan Barao, but most still consider him to be one of the top bantamweights in the world and it’s very strange to see him on a preliminary card considering he headlined UFC 169 in his last fight. As well, it just seems very strange that a fight like Brimage vs. Doane would be on the PPV while Faber vs. Caceres is on the prelims. If anything, the UFC put the wrong Uri(j)ah on the prelims, as I believe Hall vs. Santos should have been the lead-in to the PPV, not Faber vs. Caceres. Furthermore, with Weidman/Machida and Rousey/Davis being the top-two fights on the card, there is less of a need to have a big lead-in fight as the PPV will likely sell itself. So with all that said, I don’t like the move to put Faber on the prelims. I don’t like it at all. At the end of the day, the fight between Faber and Caceres should still be exciting, but I truly believe the UFC made a mistake by putting it on the prelims and I hope in the future the promotion doesn’t keep putting “The California Kid” on the prelims because he’s a main-card fighter and truly deserves the respect of being on PPV.
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