Top 10 Most Anticipated Fights That Were Cancelled Last Minute

Cancelled Fights
Opponents Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov face off during the UFC press conference at TD Garden on January 19, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In the sport of mixed martial arts, there are many things that haunt the nightmares of fans, from spectating an injury to seeing their favorite fighter lose. But nothing seems to be more disheartening than seeing an anticipated fight cancelled.

On countless occasions, fans had to witness fight cancellations due to injures or other interruptions. In the last several years there have been a considerable amount of high-profile fighters withdrawing from bouts. Often, this occurs at the last minute. This made fans betting at xbet canada crazy.

Here are the Top 10 most anticipated matches that were cancelled at the very last minute. The criteria for each entry was established based on popularity, entertainment and prospect. These are just some of the scraps we all really wanted to see. Maybe one day, we will.

Top 10 Cancelled Fights

Number 10: Carlos Condit vs Matt Brown

UFC on Fox 9

In 2013, Matt Brown was able to revitalize his career. The violence-driven pressure fighter was on an impressive six-fight win streak against high-level competition. It was obvious that at the end of 2013, Matt Brown would square off with a legit contender.

Brown was scheduled to fight former WEC champion Carlos Condit in December. Condit, coming off a one-sided victory over Martin Kampmann, was the perfect choice for Brown. Both were looking for a brutal finish. Unfortunately, a week before the fight, Matt Brown had to pull out due to a back injury.

Since then, both fighters have fallen off the top 10 rankings in the welterweight division. If this fight ever does happen, it may not be the same performance as once expected.

Number 9: Robbie Lawler vs Donald Cerrone

UFC 205

Before the UFC could make their landmark debut at the Madison Square Garden Arena in New York, they had to build an entertaining card. In 2016, perhaps no two men were more entertaining than the ‘Cowboy’ Donald Cerrone and ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler.

Both men had substantial victories, a pool of win bonus money, but most importantly, every time these men fought you were going to get a show. This fight actually did take place at UFC 214 with Robbie Lawler getting the victory, but this could have padded a card that was eventually headlined by Conor McGregor. Fighting in New York just has a different atmosphere.

Number 8: Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov

UFC 209

Let’s just start by saying this is the most cursed fight in UFC history. Point blank.

The number of times this fight was scheduled to happen is just bizarre. Especially considering that now both men are 11 – 0 in their last 11 appearances. Both fighters describe dominance in the lightweight division. It is almost a shame that in the last two bookings for this, both men had to pull out within 72 hours of the scheduled fight.

At UFC 209, it was almost perfect. We finally had the undefeated Khabib ready to take on Tony Ferguson in a match where the winner would fight Conor McGregor for gold. A drastic weight cut caused this match to full through as Khabib had to withdraw due to kidney failure. Tony went on to fight Kevin Lee to capture the Interim Title.

Number 7: Brian Ortega vs Max Holloway

UFC 226

In what could be classified as one of the most skilled fights to ever take place, UFC 226 was supposed to be home to a title defense fight between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega. Ortega was coming off a breathtaking KO victory over former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and a title shot was imminent. Holloway, not one to shy away from competition embraced the challenger.

It was a health-scare to remember as first noticed by Michael Bisping. Bisping, on live coverage, asked if Max was sleepy as he visually appeared to be off. His eyes were glazed and only half opened, and his speech was slurred. Not even 24 Hours later did Max’s team announce they pulled him off due to concussion-like symptoms. Thankfully the two men are still destined to meet. They will square off December 8th at the Scotiabank Arena for UFC 231. Let’s not jinx this one.

Number 6: Conor McGregor vs Rafael Dos Anjos

UFC 196

An MMA List is almost incomplete without the addition of ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor. After his spectacular run in the UFC’s featherweight division that saw him capture the title, Conor had his eyes set at the lightweight Division. The Irishman was slated to go up against the then champion Rafael Dos Anjos – who looked unbelievable in his last 3 appearances.

With Conor’s trash talk to the people of Brazil, Rafael could not turn down the opportunity to avenge his countryman Jose Aldo. Yet again the fighting gods chose to intervene. RDA suffered a broken foot injury which forced him off the fight.

His replacement though, gave birth to two of the biggest fights in company history. The man who stepped up was none other than Nate Diaz – at 170lbs.

Number 5: Alexander Gustafsson vs Gegard Mousasi

UFC on Fuel TV 9

Some people might be caught off guard on this one. Especially since it is ranking higher than a fight involving Conor McGregor. The simple explanation as to why this is ranked so high is because of the talent and skill involved.

A light heavyweight matchup between these two would have been a fight to remember. A classic in the making. Gegard Mousasi, coming from DREAM had something to prove in the UFC. What made this even more exciting is where Alexander Gustafsson was in his career. He was widely considered the #1 contender to fight Jon Jones. This event was in Sweden, Alexander’s hometown. The winner of this bout would have definitely been considered the true contender in the division. However,an injury forced Gus out of the fight. His fellow country man and now ranked #4 Ilir Latifi stepped in on short notice, losing the fight.

Number 4: Chael Sonnen vs Wanderlai Silva

UFC 175

Ah. Yes. This one is for the great seasons of The Ultimate Fighter where coaches genuinely hated each other. Completely different from the previous entry, the reason why this fight was so highly anticipated was due to the bad blood between the combatants.

On their respective season of coaching The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, we saw a brawl break out involving both coaches. Eventually, both men had to be separated by the fighters and staff, but this was enough of promotion. The distaste began when Chael openly insulted the country of Brazil during his fight with Anderson Silva. This obviously did not sit well with proud Brazilian and former PRIDE Champion Wanderlai Silva.

Luckily, we saw the fight take place under the Bellator banner but that was years after, when the atmosphere left from the TUF show faded.

Number 3: Josh Barnett vs Fedor Emelianenko

Affliction – Aug 1, 2009

This one needs a time stamp. This is the oldest entry on the list. This involves two heavyweights who were on respective war paths at the time.

It is almost unbelievable considering both of these fighters were former PRIDE veterans. Their paths were finally schedule to meet under the Affliction banner. Such a matchup had so many factors. Barnett was a grappling sensation and was one of the first heavyweights to utilize proficient wrestling. The contrast was the studious approach of Fedor Emelianenko. Every shot calculated with power, coupled with his judo and sambo based style – this match was an intriguing battle of styles.

Ten days before the bout Barnett tested positive for banned anabolic steroids. This beginning the downward spiral of Barnett’s career of multiple banned cases. It is a long time MMA fan’s nightmare that these men never met within the ring.

Number 2: Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones

UFC 200

You know this one was coming. The second scheduled bout between two of literally the GREATEST FIGHTERS OF ALL TIME.

Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier 2. In their first fight, Jon Jones proved too much at UFC 182, winning a unanimous decision over DC. Daniel Cormier went on to win 4 fights in a row, all with his eyes set on a rematch with the only man who beat him. UFC 200 was slated to be the biggest event in UFC History. Of course, involving a fight between their best fighters was obvious.

It all looked good. Fans from around the world were eager to see if Daniel Cormier had done enough to improve to topple Jon Jones. Everything was ready for the most anticipated rematch of modern MMA until Dana White broke the news.

Jon Jones was flagged for banned substances by USADA. This caused him to be pulled from the bout and ultimately crushing the hopes of the rematch Daniel Cormier wanted. Anderson Silva stepped to take on the short-notice fight, but to DC, the real prize was out of his reach.

Number 1: Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov

UFC 223

This fight is so cursed it is able to make our list two times.

We already mentioned everything regarding these two warriors. In all honestly, leaving just the title would still be enough to get thousands of fans to agree.

This was the fight to determine who truly is the greatest lightweight in the world. Both men on unprecedented win streaks, both having such different fighting styles. After two previous cancelled appearances, it seemed everything was finally in place.

Tragedy struck as Tony Ferguson tripped over a cable during an interview. Completely tearing off the ligament from the bone, Tony was indefinitely out.

Fast forward to today, both men competed on UFC 229 and both men were victorious. With Khabibs rise to fame, will we ever see this fight happen?

Dana White said as a fan, this is the fight to make. Fourth times the charm, right?


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