Injury rumour that would have likely sealed UFC 208's demise has finally been proven false
If you had a quick glance at the line-up for UFC 208, you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for a Fox card, not a PPV.
It may have only been thrown together recently, but UFC 208 has had a tough time in its short lifespan.
The numbered event was initially scheduled to take place in Anaheim on January 11, but was subsequently moved to the Brooklyn show on February 11. One might think that the extra time would allow the promotion to call upon some marquee-fighters in order to boost the PPV sales, but that wasn't the case for the UFC's first Brooklyn-based event.
This problem was only intensified with local stars such as Rashad Evans and Frankie Edgar being ruled out of taking part with injury while Max Holloway's dodgy foot meant a featherweight title unification bout against Jose Aldo wasn't possible.
So with all these issues, they only really had one proven needle-mover who was without a dancing partner - Holly Holm. With Cyborg staring down the barrel of a suspension, 'The Preacher's Daughter' was matched up against Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural women's featherweight title.
COMMENT: Hang in there Holly Holm, it happens https://t.co/b7JQlOclIm
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) July 25, 2016
After landing being the first woman to slay Ronda Rousey inside the Octagon, Holm transformed into a star. The PPV numbers for UFC 193 were not disclosed because it took place in Australia, although it is thought that it had broken the magic million, while UFC 196, whom Holm co-headlined with Miesha Tate which did 1.6 million buys. Although Conor McGregor's involvement in the headliner had a lot to do with the success of the latter.
It was only when the viewing figures for the UFC on Fox 20 card headlined by Holm vs Valentina Shevchenko came in that it became apparent how big of a draw the former champion was. Despite losing her title to Tate in her last trip to the Octagon and facing a fighter who was only known by hardcore MMA fans, over 4.5 million viewers tuned into the final three rounds of the main event.
So when the rumours of Holm hurting her ribs while training for de Randamie began spreading online, the UFC must have been sweating. A women's featherweight title fight without Cyborg is a tough enough sell, but if Holm pulled out, the word disaster comes to mind.
Fortunately, this rumour has been completely debunked. A fight fan admitted to completely fabricating the rumour and sending it to self-proclaimed 'proven MMA insider' @TalkMMA, in a bid to catch him out. If that Twitter handle rings a bell, it's because this is the same account that spread the rumour that McGregor was knocked out while training for his historic title fight against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.
— Albert D'Oliveria (@AlbertOliveria) January 10, 2017
Holm isn't injured, the fight is still on, and while the card might not do serious numbers, it certainly stands a chance at some success with her involvement in the main event. Even if she is coming in off two losses, she has the chance to join McGregor, BJ Penn and Randy Couture in that elite club of UFC fighters to hold two belts in the promotion.