On Thursday afternoon, UFC announced they are canceling a Fight NIght event scheduled for next week in Manila.
The Saturday, October 15th event was scheduled to be headlined by BJ Penn vs. Ricardo Lamas, but Penn had to pull out this week due to a rib injury. With no replacement on short notice and a lack of notable fighters on the show, UFC pulled the plug today saying they will "reschedule" the show. However, no date was given.
The show was set to air on UFC Fight Pass and with the promotion currently in a stretch of eight straight weeks of shows, the cancellation will have little to no impact in the grand scheme of things.
According to the promotion, fighters on the show will be rebooked for future shows and will be compensated for the cancellation. Remaining fighters of note on the show included Derrick Lewis, Cole Miller, Kyoji Horiguchi, Sam Alvey, and Ali Baugitinov.
UFC debuted in Manila (more accurately, Pasay's Mall of Asia Arena) in May 2015 with a show headlined by Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Edgar. The event drew 13,446 but the gate revenue was undisclosed.
It's safe to assume that the event wasn't selling well, making the decision that much easier. As of Thursday afternoon, second row tickets cageside were still available.
However, FloSports' Jeremy Botter tweeted out some interesting information sourced by TalkMMA, claiming the Philippines government was going to drug test fighters, employees and production staff. If anyone failed for anything, passports were going to be seized.