Light heavyweight politics puts a damper on UFC 119

The Nogueira brothers headline UFC 119 in Indianapolis. Antonio Rodrigo will rematch against Frank Mir while Antonio Rogerio will battle light heavyweight prospect Ryan Bader. It's a solid start to the card but we're left thinking what could've been. The UFC has a ton of fight cards to close out 2010 but it's being hamstrung by fighter's wishes at 205 pounds. The best fights aren't being made according to Yahoo! Sports' Dave Meltzer in his Wrestling Observer newsletter:

The original idea for this show was to headline with Lyoto Machida vs. Quinton Jackson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Rashad Evans, but both Jackson and Evans turned down the fight.

According to Meltzer, Team Machida wants Evans for an interim title shot. That could set up a unification bout when the UFC light heavyweight champ Mauricio Rua returns form another knee surgery. Rua is sidelined for a minimum of eight more months. And Jackson wanted to fight "Lil' Nog." This notion that Evans will sit on the sidelines for nearly 10 months is getting more preposterous by the day.

Tip via Bloody Elbow