by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Staying busy as ever, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has two dates upcoming in as many weeks. As inevitably happens, there have been a few changes to both of the proposed fight cards, most notably the recent cancellation of Michael Bisping’s participation on this weekend’s The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale on Saturday, November 11th.
Bisping was scheduled to face returning UFC veteran Eric Schafer. It is believed that there was trouble with him being able to secure his Visa, but it is unclear what the details of that situation are.
This is definitely a blow to the TUF 4 finale show as Bisping was slated to be on the televised portion of the event as he was the light heavyweight winner of season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter. He has also been present at recent UFC events signing autographs and doing other promotional activities.
His opponent, Schafer, said that the fight “is officially 100% off [as of] this morning.” Obviously disappointed, he is hopeful of a date with Bisping in the near future, “They were not expecting such a problem obviously… I guess they could not solve it on such short notice. There is no replacement [due to the timing], but they do plan on a match between Bisping and me rescheduled for December.”
Bisping was unable to comment on the particulars of his situation and being unable to fight this weekend. He did say that he believed that the UFC would be able to reschedule the fight for “sometime in December,” though he does not know whether it would be on the December 13th UFC Fight Night show or on the December 30th UFC 66 card.
Other changes to upcoming UFC fight cards include a couple of changes to the UFC 65 pay-per-view event featuring a main event of Matt Hughes vs. Georges St. Pierre in a highly anticipated rematch. Wilson Gouveia, a product of the American Top Team, withdrew from his bout with Alessio Sakara. Also dropping off of the UFC 65 card is Brad Imes who was scheduled to fight Antoni Hardonk.
Gouveia was replaced by Miletich fighter and UFC first-timer Drew McFedries. Gouveia vs. Sakara was believed to be part of the televised portion of the UFC 65 event. It is not known whether or not Sakara and McFedries will be part of the televised card or now be moved to the preliminary bouts.
Replacing Imes in a heavyweight contest is Sherman Pendergarst. Fighting out of Baltimore, Maryland, Pendergarst will make his UFC debut against another fighter who is fighting for the first time in the Octagon, Antoni Hardonk. Part of the UFC’s recent movement to add more international fighters, Hardonk fights out of the Vos Gym in Holland.