The UFC's March 2024 event in Saudi Arabia is reportedly postponed, with a new target date set for June.
According to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, the delay is due to concerns about the card lacking excitement.
"I am being told via sources that the planned March 2nd event in Saudi Arabia is being postponed and the target is June," Helwani declared. "I was told that the reason for the postponement is because ... they want a more entertaining fight card --- they want a deeper card with bigger names on it, they weren't too pleased with what was being offered."
As of January 15, UFC's announced March 2 event in Saudi Arabia looks like this:
- Mohammad Mokaev vs. Alex Perez; Flyweight
- Eryk Anders vs. Jamie Pickett; Middleweight
- Vinicius Oliveira vs. Yanis Ghemmouri; Bantamweight
- Joel Alvarez vs. Ludovit Klein; Lightweight
- Javid Basharat vs. Aiemann Zahabi; Bantamweight
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Shamil Gaziev; Heavyweight
Despite some exciting matchups featuring fighters like Joel Alvarez and Shamil Gaziev, the card lacks the star power fans were hoping for. Big names like Islam Makhachev and Khamzat Chimaev haven't secured fights yet. Makhachev's decision to fight in June instead of March might be a reason for the postponement.
It's uncertain if the March 2 card will be rescheduled or canceled, reminiscent of the 2023 UFC Shanghai event that was initially canceled and later moved to Vegas. There's a possibility the announced Saudi Arabia card could shift to the UFC Apex