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Without Chuck Liddell, UFC 85 Won't Sell on Pay-Per-View

The news that Chuck Liddell is out of UFC 85 with a torn hamstring has UFC scrambling to find a replacement for the show's main event, which will take place June 7 in London.

The early reports are that James Irvin, fresh off the fastest knockout in UFC history early this month, will take Liddell's place against Rashad Evans. And Michael Bisping, even fresher off a TKO win over Charles McCarthy at UFC 83, is expected to be added to the card to take on Chris Leben.

Irvin-Evans is a fine fight, and having the British Bisping on the card against Leben should placate some of the local fans who are angry that they bought their tickets under the impression that Liddell was headlining the show. But if those two fights are the co-main events, UFC can't put UFC 85 on pay-per-view.

Keep in mind, UFC 85 comes just one week after EliteXC has its first show on CBS. And the day after that EliteXC show comes WEC 34, which is the best card in World Extreme Cagefighting history, on Versus.

Are MMA fans really going to pony up the money for pay-per-view to watch a mediocre UFC card the weekend after two big MMA events, one on free TV and one on basic cable? A few will, but the vast majority won't.

Barring the unexpected addition of a major fight to the UFC 85 card, look for the show to appear on Spike, not pay-per-view.

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