UFC Fight Changes and Cancellations in 2016

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The year of 2016 became one of the most eventful and memorable years in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The first UFC event in New York City and the rise of numerous notables made this year something special, but the year also shared its unfortunate moments. A significant damper fell in part due to the numerous UFC fight changes and cancellations in 2016. Below is a complete list of UFC fights that were originally scheduled to occur during the year but would be changed or cancelled due to: contract dispute, doping violation, fighter missing weight, illness, staph infection, injury, medical issue, personal issue, opponent rescheduling to fight someone else, rescheduling for a different event, retirement of an opponent, visa issue, and someone passing away.

UFC Fight Changes and Cancellations in 2016

The following list DOES NOT include:

-Fights discussed/linked to an event but never made official
-Fights removed due to the cancellation of an entire fight card (UFC Fight Night 97: Penn vs. Lamas was cancelled; however, the list includes Penn’s injury which forced him off the card)

Overall Statistics

In total, 151 officially planned fights were changed or cancelled in 2016.

The total number of fight changes and cancellations from each category, ranked from most to least.

  1. Injury = 92
  2. Doping Violation = 13
  3. Personal Issue = 8
  4. Illness = 6
  5. Visa Issue = 6
  6. Opponent Rescheduling to fight someone else = 6
  7. Fight Rescheduling for a different event = 6
  8. Medical Issue = 5
  9. Staph Infection = 3
  10. Contract Dispute = 2
  11. Fighter Missing Weight = 2
  12. Opponent Retirement = 1
  13. Passing of an Opponent = 1

Dennis Bermudez, Stefan Struve, and Gian Villante were the only three fighters to have a fight changed/cancelled due to a staph infection.

Al Iaquinta and Conor McGregor were the only two fighters to have a fight changed/cancelled due to a contract dispute.

Justin Scoggins and Kelvin Gastelum were the only two fighters to have a fight changed/cancelled due to missing weight.

Paddy Holohan was the only fighter to have a fight changed/cancelled due to his retirement from mixed martial arts.

Josh Samman was the only fighter to have a fight changed/cancelled due to his passing on October 5th.

Out of the 92 injuries that resulted in a fight change or cancellation in 216: Erik Koch, Joaquim Silva, Daniel Cormier, and Evan Dunham were the only fighters to pull out of a fight more than once due to an injury.

Four UFC cards tied for the most fight changes or cancellations of 2016. Each suffered seven fight changes/cancellations.

  1. UFC Fight Night 81 (Dillashaw vs. Cruz – January 17)
  2. UFC Fight Night 83 (Cowboy vs. Cowboy – February 21)
  3. UFC Fight Night 93 (Arlovski vs. Barnett – September 3)
  4. UFC Fight Night 102 (Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov – December 9) 

UFC on Fox 22 (VanZant vs. Waterson – December 17) was the only UFC card of 2016 to see no fight changes and/or cancellations.

The 13 UFC pay-per-view events from 2016 accounted for a total of 59 changes/cancellations. Nine of these 13 UFC events suffered five or more card changes/cancellations (~69.2%).

The 22 UFC Fight Night events from 2016 (including the lone injury resulting in the cancellation of UFC Fight Night 97) accounted for a total of 73 changes/cancellations. Four of these 22 UFC events suffered five or more card changes/cancellations (~18.2%).

The 7 UFC on Fox and TUF Finale events from 2016 accounted for a total of 19 changes/cancellations. One of these seven UFC events suffered five or more card changes/cancellations (~14.3%).

Fight changes/cancellations by weight class, ranked from most to least.

  1. Lightweight (155 lbs.) = 35
  2. Welterweight (170 lbs.) = 31
  3. Middleweight (185 lbs.) = 20
  4. Bantamweight (135 lbs.) = 14
  5. Featherweight (145 lbs.) = 13
  6. Flyweight (125 lbs.) = 11
  7. Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.) = 10
  8. Heavyweight (265 lbs.) = 7
  9. Strawweight (115 lbs.) = 7
  10. Woman’s Bantamweight (135 lbs.) = 3


UFC 195: Lawler vs. Condit – January 2
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: five

UFC Fight Night 81: Dillashaw vs. Cruz – January 17
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: seven

  • Charles Rosa vs. Jimy Hettes (Hettes injury, Rosa scheduled to face Augusto Mendes)
  • Charles Rosa vs. Augusto Mendes (Mendes injury, Rosa would face Kyle Bochniak)
  • Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs. Francimar Barroso (Edilov injury, Barroso would face Elvis Mutapcic)
  • Rob Font vs. Patrick Williams (Williams injury, Font would face Joey Gomez)
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Mairbek Taisumov (Dariush injury, Taisumov scheduled to face Chris Wade)
  • Chris Wade vs. Mairbek Taisumov (Taisumov visa issue, Wade would face Mehdi Baghdad)
  • Dennis Bermudez vs. Maximo Blanco (Bermudez staph infection, Blanco would face Luke Sanders)

UFC on Fox 18: Johnson vs. Bader – January 30
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: two

  • Joaquim Silva vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (Silva injury, Mercier would face Carlos Diego Ferreira)
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Andrew Holbrook (Holbrook injury, Northcutt would face Bryan Barberena)


UFC Fight Night 82: Hendricks vs. Thompson – February 6
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: two

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez (Card originally UFC 196, Velasquez injury, Werdum scheduled to face Miocic)
  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic (Card originally UFC 196, Werdum injury, Miocic removed from card)

UFC Fight Night 83: Cowboy vs. Cowboy – February 21
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: seven

UFC Fight Night 84: Silva vs. Bisping – February 27
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: four


UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz – March 5
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: two

  • Rafael dos Anjos vs. Conor McGregor (dos Anjos injury, McGregor would face Nate Diaz)
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson (Johnson injury, Ferguson rescheduled to face Khabib Nurmagomedov)

UFC Fight Night 85: Hunt vs. Mir – March 20
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: three


UFC Fight Night 86: Rothwell vs. Dos Santos – April 10
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: three

  • Ruslan Magomedov vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (Magomedov injury, Gonzaga would face Derrick Lewis)
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Bojan Mihajlovic (Mihajlovic personal issue, Ngannou would face Curtis Blaydes)
  • Bartosz Fabinski vs. Nicolas Dalby (Fabinski injury, Dalby would face Zak Cummings)

UFC on Fox 19: Teixeira vs. Evans – April 16
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: five

UFC 197: Jones vs. Saint Preux – April 23
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: two

  • Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones (Cormier injury, Jones would face Ovince St. Preux)
  • Jessica Aguilar vs. Juliana Lima (Aguilar injury, Lima would face Carla Esparza)


UFC Fight Night 87: Overeem vs. Arlovski – May 8
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: four

  • Chris Wade vs. Rashid Magomedov (Magomedov injury, Wade would face Rustam Khabilov)
  • Peter Sobotta vs. Dominic Waters (Sobotta injury, Waters would face Leon Edwards)
  • Nick Hein vs. Jon Tuck (Hein injury, Tuck would face Josh Emmett)
  • Paddy Holohan vs. Willie Gates (Holohan retirement, Gates would face Yuta Sasaki)

UFC 198: Werdum vs. Miocic – May 14
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: three

  • Evan Dunham vs. Leonardo Santos (Dunham injury, Santos rescheduled to fight Evan Dunham)
  • Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman (Usman injury, Moraes would face Luan Chagas)
  • Anderson Silva vs. Uriah Hall (Silva illness, Hall removed from card)

UFC Fight Night 88: Almeida vs. Garbrandt – May 29
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: three


UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2 – June 4
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: six

UFC Fight Night 89: MacDonald vs. Thompson – June 18
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: two

  • Alex Garcia vs. Colby Covington (Garcia injury, Covington would face Jonathan Meunier)
  • Kid Yamamoto vs. Chris Beal (Yamamoto injury, Beal would face Joe Soto)


UFC Fight Night 90: Dos Anjos vs. Alvarez – July 7
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: one

  • Alan Jouban vs. Nordine Taleb (Taleb injury, Jouban would face Belal Muhammad)

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale: Jedrzejczyk vs. Gadelha 2 – July 8
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: three

  • James Krause vs. Ross Pearson (Krause personal issue, Pearson would face Will Brooks)
  • Scott Askham vs. Anthony Smith (Askham injury, Smith would face Cezar Ferreira)
  • Jake Matthews vs. Stevie Ray (Ray injury, Matthews would face Kevin Lee)

UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes – July 10
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: three

UFC Fight Night 91: McDonald vs. Lineker – July 13
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: two

  • Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Chiesa (Chiesa injury, Ferguson would face Lando Vannata)
  • Ryan Hall vs. Alex White (White injury, Hall removed from card)

UFC on Fox 20: Holm vs. Shevchenko – July 23
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: four

UFC 201: Lawler vs. Woodley – July 30
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: six

  • Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Claudio Silva (Silva injury, Bahadurzada scheduled to face Jorge Masvidal)
  • Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Jorge Masvidal (Bahadurzada illness, Masvidal would face Ross Pearson)
  • Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis (Johnson injury, Reis scheduled to face Sean Santella)
  • Wilson Reis vs. Sean Santella (Santella medical issue, Reis would face Hector Sandoval)
  • Ian McCall vs. Justin Scoggins (Scoggins missed weight, McCall removed from card)
  • Fredy Serrano vs. Ray Borg (Borg injury, Serrano would face Ryan Benoit)


UFC Fight Night 92: Caceres vs. Rodriguez – August 6
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: one

  • Maryna Moroz vs. Justine Kish (Kish injury, Moroz would face Danielle Taylor)

UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2 – August 20
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: five

UFC on Fox 21: Maia vs. Condit – August 27
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: three


UFC Fight Night 93: Arlovski vs. Barnett – September 3
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: seven

UFC 203: Miocic vs. Overeem – September 10
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: six

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Ben Rothwell (Rothwell injury, Werdum would face Travis Browne)
  • Mairbek Taisumov vs. Nik Lentz (Taisumov visa issue, Lentz would face Michael McBride)
  • Damir Hadzovic vs. Yusuke Kasuya (Hadzovic visa issue, Kasuya removed from card)
  • Drew Dober vs. Erik Koch (Koch injury, Dober would face Jason Gonzalez)
  • CB Dollaway vs. Francimar Barroso (Dollaway injury, Barroso removed from card)
  • Ian McCall vs. Ray Borg (Borg illness, McCall removed from card)

UFC Fight Night 94: Poirier vs. Johnson – September 17
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: two

UFC Fight Night 95: Cyborg vs. Lansberg – September 24
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: four

  • Erick Silva vs. Brandon Thatch (Thatch injury, Silva would face Luan Chagas)
  • Shinsho Anzai vs. Luan Chagas (Anzai injury, Chagas would face Erick Silva)
  • Renato Carneiro vs. Mike De La Torre (Carneiro injury, De La Torre would face Godofredo Pepey)
  • Gregor Gillespie vs. Joaquim Silva (Silva injury, Gillespie would face Glaico Franca)


UFC Fight Night 96: Lineker vs. Dodson – October 1
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: three

  • Louis Smolka vs. Sergio Pettis (Pettis injury, Smolka would face Brandon Moreno)
  • Josh Burkman vs. Bobby Green (Green personal issue, Burkman would face Zak Ottow)
  • Brian Ortega vs. Hacran Dias (Ortega injury, Dias would face Andre Fili)

UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson 2 – October 8
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: five

  • Stefan Struve vs. Ruslan Magomedov (Magomedov staph infection, Struve would face Daniel Omielanczuk)
  • Ian Entwistle vs. Rob Font (Entwistle illness, Font removed from card)
  • Mirsad Bektic vs. Arnold Allen (Allen injury, Bektic scheduled to face Jeremy Kennedy)
  • Mirsad Bektic vs. Jeremy Kennedy (Kennedy injury, Bektic would face Russell Doane)
  • Reza Madadi vs. Marc Diakiese (Madadi injury, Diakiese would face Lukasz Sajewski)

UFC Fight Night 97: Lamas vs. Penn – October – fight card cancelled
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: one

  • BJ Penn vs. Ricardo Lamas (Penn injury, Lamas removed from card)


UFC Fight Night 98: Dos Anjos vs. Ferguson – November 5
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: two

UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor – November 12
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: six

UFC Fight Night 99: Mousasi vs. Hall 2 – November 19
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: three

  • Gunnar Nelson vs. Dong Hyun Kim (Nelson injury, Kim removed from card)
  • Ian McCall vs. Neil Seery (McCall illness, Seery removed from card)
  • Ross Pearson vs. James Krause (Krause injury, Pearson would face Stevie Ray)

UFC Fight Night 100: Bader vs. Nogueira 2 – November 19
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: three

UFC Fight Night 101: Whittaker vs. Brunson – November 27
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: two

  • Luke Rockhold vs. Jacare Souza (Rockhold injury, Souza removed from card)
  • Kyle Noke vs. Dominique Steele (Steele injury, Noke would face Omari Akhmedov)


The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale: Johnson vs. Elliott – December 3
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: two

  • Josh Stansbury vs. Jake Collier (Collier injury, Stansbury would face Devin Clark)
  • Alejandro Perez vs. Rob Font (Perez injury, Font would face Matt Schnell)

UFC Fight Night 102: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov – December 9
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: seven

  • Josh Samman vs. Oluwale Bamgbose (Samman passing, Bamgbose scheduled to face Joe Gigliotti)
  • Oluwale Bamgbose (Bamgbose injury, Gigliotti would face Gerald Meerschaert)
  • Gian Villante vs. Patrick Cummins (Cummins staph infection, Villante would face Saparbek Safarov)
  • Tatiana Suarez vs. Juliana Lima (Suarez injury, Lima would face JJ Aldrich)
  • Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Tiago Trator (Tukhugov doping violation, Trator would face Shane Burgos)
  • Aljamain Sterling vs. Raphael Assuncao (Sterling injury, Assuncao removed from card)
  • Randy Brown vs. Charlie Ward (Ward visa issue, Brown would face Brian Camozzi)

UFC 206: Holloway vs. Pettis – December 10
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: five

  • Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson (Cormier injury, Johnson removed from card)
  • Poliana Botelho vs. Valerie Letourneau (Botelho injury, Letourneau would face Viviane Pereira)
  • John Moraga vs. Zach Makovsky (Moraga injury, Makovsky would face Dustin Ortiz)
  • Chad Laprise vs. Jingliang Li (Laprise injury, Li removed from card)
  • Rashad Evans vs. Tim Kennedy (Evans medical issue, Kennedy would face Kelvin Gastelum)

UFC on Fox 22: VanZant vs. Waterson – December 17
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: zero

  • No fight changes and/or cancellations occurred for this card.

UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey – December 30
—–Fight Changes/Cancellations: five

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Wesley Riddle is a 29-year-old writer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina from Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has been part of the MMASucka team since the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, he serves as a writer with partner site Last Word on Motorsports.

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