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UFC Manila fight called off

Filipino MMA fans were left disappointed yesterday after the UFC decided to reschedule the Oct. 15 fight card at the Mall of Asia Arena due to an injury to BJ Penn.

Penn, who was slated to face Ricardo Lamas in the main event, sustained a rib injury in training, prompting UFC officials to call off the event dubbed as “UFC Fight Night Manila.”

“I suffered a rib injury in training and I apologize to the fans in Manila who were expecting to watch me compete,” Penn said in a statement released by the UFC. “I hope to be back in the Octagon soon.”

Penn’s injury was reported by various MMA websites last Wednesday. The UFC tried to find an immediate replacement but decided to postpone the event.

It also didn’t help that the supposed event was hampered by low ticket sales, which MMAFighting,com reported was “somewhere between 3,000 to 4,000.”

It is expected that the UFC will reschedule the card next year with the hope of replicating the successful fight card in 2015 when Fil-American Mark Munoz won his final MMA fight.

“SMLEI and UFC will continue to work together in the future to deliver exciting live events for fans,”  said SM Lifestyle Entertainment President Edgar Tejerero, whose firm has partnered with the UFC since the first.