It’s been a pretty successful week in Jacksonville for the UFC. They’ve had two nights of fights on both pay-per-view and ESPN+ that have been well-received. They had the entire sports world to themselves for the most part, giving them a chance to expose their sport to new audiences.
But then today just got straight up weird.
First came light heavyweight Marvin Vettori weighing in, which would be perfectly normal — if Marvin Vettori was scheduled to be fighting tomorrow evening. But he’s not, however apparently he’ll be a standby fighter. But there’s no light heavyweight fight on the card, and heavyweight starts at 206 lbs. Vettori weighed in at 203.5, which was fine for the fight he was scheduled to have on Wednesday that he missed as his scheduled opponent Karl Roberson didn’t make weight.
So a guy that was just hanging around weighed in for a fight that wouldn’t be anywhere near his weight class. Strange, but now it gets stranger.
Urijah Faber then got on the scales. And for a guy that has a career record of 35-11, that’s not so unusual — but he’s also not on the card currently. Faber is a UFC Hall of Famer and had his 41st birthday yesterday, but apparently he’s on the back burner as there might be an issue with the visa of Song Yadong, who is scheduled to face Marlon Vera.
The two main questions right now are: can they issue be sorted in time for the event and if not would the commission allow Faber to fight Vera who weighed in at 145.5. All fluid at the moment.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 15, 2020
So it’s possible Faber might waltz in at the last minute and fight, while outweighing his opponent by eight pounds.
There is one replacement fighter already booked for sure, and that is Irwin Rivera. He’ll make his UFC debut stepping in for Mike Davis, who pulled out at the last minute due to a non-Covid 19 related issue. But this all assumes Rivera will make weight, which he couldn’t do with everyone else today as his coronavirus test hasn’t come back yet, so he’s quarantined away from the rest of the quarantined fighters.
So things are quite fluid and strange ahead of tomorrow night’s final show of the UFC Jacksonville back-to-back-to-back cards. And there’s probably no place more perfect to host something very unorganized and weird than Duval County.