Stockton almost saved UFC 196.
The UFC considered the matchup, and it was a viable option as of Tuesday morning, but the promotion decided for undisclosed reasons to ultimately go in another direction.
On Tuesday afternoon, UFC president Dana White announced to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports that Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson would headline UFC 196 and the card, scheduled for Feb. 6 in Las Vegas, would be moved from pay-per-view to FOX Sports 1.
If Diaz vs. Pettis was put together, the event would have remained on pay-per-view. Those two could still end up fighting each other in the coming months.
The UFC 196 main event went into upheaval Sunday when Cain Velasquez pulled out of his title fight with champion Fabricio Werdum due to a back injury. Stipe Miocic was pegged as the replacement. But then, just a day later, Werdum said he, too, would be unable to fight because of injuries.
The champ said he was going to suck it up and fight Velasquez, but wouldn’t be comfortable doing it against a new opponent on short notice.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones threw his hat in the ring to fight Miocic if it was for the heavyweight title, but that also did not come together.
If it was for the actual title I would totally do it https://t.co/ur2Rq1ycOI
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) January 26, 2016