UFC 233 PPV fight card in Anaheim canceled amid struggles to produce main event

The scheduled UFC 233 event slated to take place on Jan. 26 in Anaheim, California, is no more. UFC confirmed the news to Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the event set for the Honda Center has been canceled. This marks the second time in nearly two years that the city of Anaheim will have lost out on a UFC pay-per-view event. UFC 208 was scheduled to take place in January 2017, however, struggles to find a main event forced the Anaheim card to be put on hold. That event was moved to Brooklyn that February, with a main event crowning Germaine de Randamie the inaugural UFC women's featherweight champion as she defeated Holy Holm. 

News of the cancellation was first reported by ESPN's Brett Okamoto

Difficulties in securing a main event played a part in this Anaheim card's demise, as well. Not only that, but the likely co-main event of bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw challenging flyweight champion Henry Cejudo for his title was recently moved up to the main event slot of the Jan. 19 card in Brooklyn that will see the UFC make its debut on ESPN+. 

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Per Okamoto's ESPN colleague Ariel Helwani, fighters that were scheduled to compete on the card are being informed of their bouts being moved to different dates in the future. Among the fights that are being relocated to different cards includes the long-awaited debut of welterweight Ben Askren, who was recently acquired in a blockbuster trade with ONE Championship; though, Helwani is also reporting that UFC is aiming to place the Askren vs. Robbie Lawler bout on the March 2 UFC 235 card

In addition to UFC struggling to solidify a proper card, it also didn't make things easier that the rival Bellator promotion is set to showcase a good-looking event for their Bellator 214 offering at The Forum in nearby Inglewood, California, on the same evening. That event sees the finals of the Heavyweight World Grand Prix play out as light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader battles the legendary Fedor Emelianenko for the heavyweight crown, Gegard Mousasi defending his middleweight title on the co-main event and also features another outing from featherweight stud Aaron Pico.

UFC also confirmed that, while UFC 233 is off the table, UFC 234 will still go along as named and planned. UFC 233 joins UFC 151 and 176 in being canceled outright from the company's list of events.

Jack joined CBS Sports in 2018 as an editor and writer covering college football, combat sports and golf. He was raised to love the New York Yankees unconditionally since birth and firmly believes a four-team... Full Bio

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