The cancelled co-main event for Sweden’s upcoming UFC show was a female fight between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano.
Fighters Only learned about the pulled match in London this week but was told it was not to be reported. But then World MMA Award winner Ariel Helwani got hold of it and broke it on Twitter.
Dana says no co-main yet for 4/6. I was told it was gonna be Miesha-Cat, but that was moved to 4/13. — Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 16, 2013
The fight was pulled because it was felt by Garry Cook, the UFC VP in charge of UK and European operations, that it wasn’t suited to the Swedish audience.
Sweden is a new market and there is still some considerable opposition to the UFC among that infamously liberal and ‘progressive’ nation’s press. Politically it is a very left-wing country and it was only in 2007 that a 1970 ban on professional boxing was lifted.
Alexander Gustafsson has spearheaded the charge into what has proven to be an unexpectedly lucrative market for the UFC, but the potential for the national press to dislike or misinterpret a women’s fight was felt to be too high to risk.
For the fight to turn out to be a bloodbath would have been especially damaging. A sizeable number of hardcore MMA fans are opposed to women’s fights in the UFC (or indeed, at all) so the potential for casual fans and media to take against it is very real.
A new co-main has not been announced for the Stockholm card, but the mood on the messageboards among Swedish fans is generally one of relief that the female fight was scrapped - and not just because of the risk it poses to the sport. Progressive as they are, it seems even the Swedish fans are particularly excited about female MMA either.
Mayday is now sitting where he belongs. Dana says no co-main yet for 4/6. I was told it was gonna be Miesha-Cat, but that was moved to 4/13.