[ads1]UFC_163_PosterUFC 163 has been broken, fixed, broken and put back together again. The event is an unwanted return to the injury-ravaged cards that plagued 2012 for the UFC.

The injury bug has returned with a vengeance and UFC 163 bore the brunt of the damage. The main card in particular has been bit hard, all but one of the bouts have either been altered or removed altogether due to injuries. Lyoto Machida vs. Phil Davis is the only fight on the main card that has remained unchanged.

First, the original main event, Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis, fell through. This, unquestionably, would have been one of the biggest fights of the year. Both are astonishingly talented and have the potential to be multi-divisional champions. The thought of those two sharing a cage really whet the appetite of the MMA community. It wasn’t to be though, Pettis injured his knee and was replaced by Jung Chan-Sung – or the Korean Zombie as the UFC has, solely, marketed him in all of their promotional content.

Even though this is almost guaranteed to be a fun fight, it is still somewhat of a mismatch.

The Zombie may be the most exciting fighter in MMA. In the past three years, he has won two fight of the year awards which sandwiched a submission of the year honor. Nevertheless, Aldo is a top three pound-for-pound fighter and the Zombie is just three fights removed from a two fight losing streak that featured Leonard Garcia and George Roop. According to BestFightOdds, Aldo is a big favorite in the -800 range. If Aldo fails to defend his belt on Saturday night it will be considered a sizable upset.

After the replacement main event was announced in June, main card fights began dropping like flies in July. The first victim was Josh Koscheck, after his injury, his proposed bout with Demian Maia was removed from the card. Then on the same day a week later, Phil Harris and Clint Hester suffered injuries and were replaced with unknown Brazilians Jose Maria Tome and Thiago Santos.

Replacements haven’t only affected the fighters, the UFC’s commentary team has also been subject to change. For the first time since UFC 134, also held in Brazil, Joe Rogan will be absent from a PPV. Instead, the recently retired Brian Stann will take his place.

The plethora of changes has significantly impacted the event. UFC 163 was once a deep card with a main event that fans were chomping at the bit to see. Now, however, it has become almost the opposite. Other than the main and co-main event, there is very little top shelf talent featured and the main event, which before was bordering on a super fight, is now a relative mismatch.

The disarranged card will have even the most hardcore of MMA fans Googling the names of some of the fighters competing. As is always the case with events in Brazil, the card is loaded with Brazilians and, due to the number of late replacements, many are unknown to the majority of fans.

Six fighters on the card don’t even have a Wikipedia page, Sherdog will have to suffice for research purposes. The third fight on the PPV, a spot usually reserved for well-known fighters in the upper echelon of their division, will be Cezar Ferreira vs. Thiago Santos.

Those who don’t watch TUF: Brazil, or have in-depth knowledge of the local MMA circuit in the country, will likely have no idea who Ferreira and Santos are. This is a common scenario throughout the card.

As long as those pesky non-Brazilians don’t win, the card will likely be a hit with the crowd. Especially if, like the last time he fought in Rio de Janiero, Aldo wins by spectacular knockout and then runs into the crowd to celebrate with the fans.

However, outside of Brazil, its popularity may be slightly lacking. The patchwork, makeshift nature of the card has dampened some of the enthusiasm it once mustered. Big fights and popular names have fallen by the wayside and the buy rate for this PPV will likely take the hit.

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