MMA fans burst into outrage during the UFC Chile broadcast earlier this month when it was announced a pivotal heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Curtis Blaydes had been bumped down to the UFC 225 preliminary card in favor of Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson.
Neither Overeem nor Blaydes appeared to care about the switch all that much — as long as they were both getting paid the same amount — but both fighters still expressed a small amount of disappointment. Overeem said he understands that the UFC is a business and that it knows what is best for the company when it comes to a broadcast lineup.
UFC president Dana White briefly discussed Overeem vs. Blaydes being moved to the event’s prelims at the UFC Liverpool post-fight press conference on Sunday. He appears to have little sympathy for the two fighters, particularly “The Reem.”
“He was demoted?” White asked a reporter. “If that’s the way you want to look at him being demoted, what is Rashad Evans, (Sergio) Pettis? There’s guys that could be on the main card that are on the Fight Pass prelims.
“When Alistair Overeem sells as many pay-per-views as CM Punk does, we can argue.”
Former WWE wrestler Punk, of course, will step foot in the Octagon for the second time on the UFC 225 main card against Mike Jackson. Meanwhile, Overeem vs. Blaydes serves as the featured preliminary bout on FOX Sports 1.
UFC 225 takes place at United Center in Chicago on June 9. In the main event, middleweight champion Robert Whittaker defends his title against Yoel Romero in a rematch. Welterweight contenders Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington square off for the interim belt in the co-headliner.